Will he direct or won’t he direct? Or, is this movie even coming out at all? It seems that nothing has ever been set in stone for The Hobbit, and despite reports on Saturday in the LA Times and the New York Times that the movie was just a few signatures away from approval, it seems they are still far away from making this reality.
Peter Jackson’s representatives told the New Zealand Herald, “Warner Brothers are running financial models about the costs of shooting in a variety of countries. We expect a decision is still a week or two away.” Rumor had it that Peter Jackson himself was going to direct this project, but he hasn’t officially signed on.
For those of you not in tune with the news in the southern hemisphere, New Zealand is going through a huge labor dispute in their entertainment industry that could prevent the film from being shot in the same location as its Lord of the Rings predecessors. The Australian labor union that oversees New Zealand actors is threatening to strike, and that could even delay production. (More on Techland: The Hobbit Now Subject Of Hollywood Vs. Union Battle)
What we do know is the film will be split into two parts and will be funded as an MGM (which has huge financial problems right now) and Warner Bros. joint project. Producer/co-writer Philippa Boyens said on Radio New Zealand National that Warner accountants are looking into five or six different locales to film The Hobbit, including Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Eastern Europe, and, nearby Australia. To add more trouble, Jackson has said he is unwilling to sign on as director if the first movie will not be released by December 2012. (More on Techland: Seriously This Hobbit Curse Is Getting Out of Control)
It’s taken this long, so they might as well wait to do it right. Though Jackson is pushing for a New Zealand shoot, there is a possibility to shoot the Hobbiton scenes in New Zealand and then go elsewhere. That part is only scheduled for seven to eight days, but it would be nice to keep things in the same luscious surroundings that befit Middle Earth the first time.
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