New Zealanders rally behind Hobbit shoot

Thousands gathered to demonstrate against the moving of the film to another country

Related Stories

Thousands of New Zealanders have taken to their streets to protest against possible plans to move production of Peter Jackson's Hobbit films elsewhere.

The demonstrators hoped to reassure Hollywood studio executives as they decide whether the Lord of the Rings prequels should be shot in the country.

Last month, acting unions threatened to boycott the films in a row over wages.

Though that threat has now been lifted, Warner Bros said the unions' actions had caused "substantial damage".

Their actions, a studio statement issued last week continued, had "forced us to consider other filming locations for the first time."

According to organisers, the nationwide action was timed to coincide with the arrival of Warner Bros executives for meetings to determine the movies' fate.

The three Lord of the Rings movies, which were all filmed in New Zealand, earned billions of dollars at the box office.

Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch were among the New Zealand cities to host rallies on Monday.

Richard Taylor Oscar-winner Richard Taylor was among the speakers in Wellington

Richard Taylor, the Oscar-winning technician behind many of the Lord of the Rings trilogy's special effects, told protestors in Wellington he hoped The Hobbit would stay in New Zealand.

"The alternative is just too bleak to consider," he said.

Taylor also read a letter from Peter Jackson thanking people for their support.

"This is where Middle Earth was born and this is where it should stay," he continued.

The New Zealand government has pledged to step in to try to keep the production in the homeland of its recently confirmed director.

Prime Minister John Key will lead a delegation scheduled to meet Warner Bros executives on Tuesday.

"The threat of industrial actions... have substantially undermined the confidence that Warner Bros has in New Zealand," Mr Key said last week.

Filming on the two-part prequel is set to begin in February after it was finally given the go-ahead. British actor Martin Freeman was confirmed in the lead role of Bilbo Baggins.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Entertainment & Arts stories



  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back

  • Aimen DeanI spied

    The founder member of al-Qaeda who worked for MI6

  • Before and after shotsPerfect body

    Just how reliable are 'before and after' photos?

  • Woman with closed eyeStrange light show

    What do you see when you close your eyes?

  • Sony WalkmanLost ideas

    What has happened to Japan's inventors?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.