Peter Jackson says The Hobbit WON'T be filmed in New Zealand

We learned last week that yes, The Hobbit had finally gotten the green light and yes, Peter Jackson would be directing. But there was still that pesky matter of a labor dispute holding up the start of filming. Now, declaring that "the damage inflicted on our film industry [is] long since done," Jackson has decided the production has to move.

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh were quoted in The Press as saying:

"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 Press speculated that The Hobbit might instead film in "Britain or Australia, which offers a 15 per cent 'location offset' to entice foreign films."

We're glad the movie will continue SOMEWHERE, but—are you as heartbroken as we are? Can any other country possibly stand in for Middle-earth as well as New Zealand did in the Lord of the Rings trilogy?

(via The New York Times)

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