After rumours about The Hobbit films shooting in Eastern Europe or even the UK and Peter Jackson venting his spleen over the union activity that started this particular roller-coaster, news comes now that shooting will now proceed in New Zealand.

THR bring news that not only will The Hobbit shoot in New Zealand, but a significant deal has been struck between Warner Bros and the New Zealand government over cross-marketing of the film and New Zealand tourism, with New Zealand chipping in on the marketing costs of the films.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key described the deal as a long-term strategic partnership with Warner Bros that will promote New Zealand for film production and as a tourism destination. In relation to The Hobbit, the New Zealand government looks likely to be coughing up in the region of US$10m towards the marketing budget.

Beyond this, there also seems to be a vaguely defined “budget incentive program, which might result in a further rebate from New Zealand to Warner Bros of up to US$15m, depending on the commercial performance of the films.

Finally, legislation is to be introduced to the New Zealand parliament today to “clarify the employment status of film industry workers”, which is believed to actually be targeting the limiting or prevention of any future union action that might jeopardise productions like The Hobbit from being able to operate in New Zealand.

New Zealand will host one of the world premieres for The Hobbit and is also set to be included in a variety of DVD material for Warner Bros, as well as publicity across other Time Warner properties.

So there you have it. The Hobbit back in New Zealand where, in all fairness, it probably belongs. Casting progressing apace. Thank goodness all of these road bumps seem to be levelling out.

Previous articleTwentieth Century Fox Announce Release Dates for Avatar 2 & 3
Next articleChristopher Nolan Confirms Batman 3 Title – ‘The Dark Knight Rises’
Dave has been writing for HeyUGuys since mid-2010 and has found them to be the most intelligent, friendly, erudite and insightful bunch of film fans you could hope to work with. He's gone from ham-fisted attempts at writing the news to interviewing Lawrence Bender, Renny Harlin and Julian Glover, to writing articles about things he loves that people have actually read. He has fairly broad tastes as far as films are concerned, though given the choice he's likely to go for Con Air over Battleship Potemkin most days. He's pretty sure that 2001: A Space Odyssey is the most overrated mess in cinematic history.