“The Hobbit” to Stay in New Zealand
New Zealand has agreed to give way to demands by producers of “The Hobbit,” ensuring that Warner Brothers will produce the film in the country.
Prime Minister John Key said the New Zealand Parliament will introduce a new legislation that would clarify confusing provisions in the country’s labor law, specifically those that would protect “The Hobbit” production from labor disruptions. The government has also promised to offset $10 million of the marketing costs of the two-part film, which is finally to start filming in February after numerous delays. Warner would also be eligible for tax rebates of up to $7.5 million per film, Key said.
Key said keeping “The Hobbit” in New Zealand will help keep thousands of local film industry workers employed. “Making the two movies here will not only safeguard work for thousands of New Zealanders, but will also allow us to follow the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in once again promoting New Zealand on the world stage,” Key said.