The labor dispute about the recently greenlit “The Hobbit” films has seemingly come to an end with SAG, AFTRA and other unions issuing releases to their members calling off their boycott of the films.
Unfortunately it may be too little to late as Peter Jackson tells Press of New Zealand that “The lifting of the blacklist on ‘The Hobbit’ does NOTHING to help the films stay in New Zealand. The damage inflicted on our film industry by NZ Equity/MEAA is long since done. Next week Warners are coming down to NZ to make arrangements to move the production off-shore. It appears we now cannot make films in our own country – even when substantial financing ($500 million) is available.”
The UK is already rumoured to be the new home for the two productions, but New Zealand isn’t giving up without a fight and the country’s Prime Minister John Key intends to meet the studio executives to talk through the issues that concern them.
One rumour about the move is due to tax breaks as New Zealand is only offering a 15% tax break versus the 30% other countries are offering.