“It feels as if we have a large Aussie cousin kicking sand in our eyes… or to put it another way, opportunists exploiting our film for their own political gain.” stated New Zealander and planned project lead Peter Jackson, blasting Australia’s Media Entertainments and Arts Alliance (MEAA) in a lengthy statement. “They want greater membership since they get to increase their bank balance. If the Hobbit goes east - eastern Europe in fact - look forward to a long, dry big-budget movie drought in this country”. Jackson also pointed out that he has “always attempted to treat my actors and crew with fairness and respect.”
The Hobbit films, planned as a two picture prequel project were set to be filmed in New Zealand, where sets of the Lord of the Rings trilogy still remain. At this point The Hobbit’s future looks questionable. The film has already undergone dramatic shifts, with original director Guillermo del Toro walking away from the project after three years of preparation.
MEAA members are scheduled to meet in Auckland tomorrow to discuss the boycott.