NZ may lose Hobbit filming to offshore locatio

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“Unfortunately lifting the blacklist does nothing to help the situation,” the statement said.

Warners did not immediately comment on the situation.

The pay row is the latest in a string of troubles to hit the project. In May, original director Guillermo Del Toro quit after two years of involvement citing production delays. Jackson, the New Zealander who was a key creative force behind the Rings movies, stepped in as director. Filming was due to begin in New Zealand in February.

It also caused upheaval within New Zealand’s film industry, which received a huge boost with the success of the Rings films and Jackson’s sudden rise in profile in Hollywood that came as a result.

Late Wednesday, more than 1,000 film technicians chanting “Save The Hobbit” and waving banners that said “SOS Hobbits” marched through the capital, Wellington, demanding actors end their dispute.

After the huge success of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Jackson has spent the past three years working on adapting The Hobbit. Written before the Rings saga, the novel introduces key characters such as title character Bilbo Baggins, and first describes the elaborate world of dwarves, trolls, elves and monsters that both tales inhabit.

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