The Hobbit To Stay In New Zealand

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It’s finally official: The Hobbit will stay in New Zealand after all.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key made the announcement yesterday after a second day of talks between government officials and Warner Bros. executives. Despite earlier statements about refusing to engage in a cost competition, the agreement between the two parties includes an additional tax rebate to Warners of up to $15 million, as well as changes in legislation to clarify the employment status of film industry workers (Presumably, this is in response to the movie’s union-related squabbles). As to what New Zealand gets out of this deal, it’s not just keeping The Hobbit around; Warners has agreed to what’s being described as a “long-term strategic partnership” that will see the studio promoting tourism and film production in the country for an unspecified time.

Did you want The Hobbit to find a new home? has a list of alternative filming locations that’s a must-read.

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