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The Hobbit won’t be filmed in New Zealand

The labor dispute in New Zealand has resulted in The Hobbit director Peter Jackson and Warner Brothers to move production of the two-part film out of New Zealand. Peter Jackson and co-writer/executive producer Fran Walsh were quoted in a story by The Press of New Zealand:

Sir Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh said the lifting of the actors union’s blacklist “does nothing to help the film stay in New Zealand”.

“The damage inflicted on our film industry by [the actors unions] is long since done.”

The move has undermined Warner Brothers confidence in the industry “and they are now, quite rightly, very concerned about the security of their $500m investment”.

“Next week Warners are coming down to New Zealand to make arrangements to move the production offshore. It appears we cannot make films in our own country even when substantial financing is available.”

The story also confirmed that filming could begin as early as February 2011.

via Arts Beat | NY Times