The Hobbit Will Stay In New Zealand!
Ireland in mourning
Well cut yourself a slice of lolly cake and hand over the lamingtons because it's time for a party Down Under. It looks like a deal has been reached between Warner Bros and the New Zealand government in order to settle the industrial dispute that threatened The Hobbit's attachment to the country.
Said New Zealand Prime Minister John Key in a statement, "I am delighted we have achieved this result. Making the two Hobbit movies here will not only safeguard work for thousands of New Zealanders, but it will also follow the success of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy in once again promoting NZ on the world stage."
At stake was the question of a distinction between employees and independent contractors, which was apparently unclear in New Zealand law. The plan is now to introduce legislation clarifying the distinction as it applies to the film industry, and as a bonus allow an additional tax rebate of up to $7.5m US per picture, so that Warners and New Zealand can get back to working on the film / romping through scenic hills and vineyards hand-in-hand.
That wailing and gnashing of teeth that you hear is coming from the tourist board offices of Ireland, Scotland and Canada, all of whom were hoping for a look-in this time. Ah well, there's always The Silmarilion, eh?