'The Hobbit' Is All Working Out After All
No need to fret, wizards. Once again, all is right in Middle-earth. Not only is Lord of the Rings' Peter Jackson directing The Hobbit with shockingly-accurate Hobbit Martin Freeman playing Bilbo, the production is also returning to the fertile landscape we've come to know as the setting of the Tolkien's stories: New Zealand.
With New Line and Warner Bros. threatening to shoot in Europe in light of New Zealand unions' labor demands, the New Zealand government, realizing how much money they'd lose if production moved (just think how many pizzas film crews order), is seriously bending over to keep The Hobbit in their country. As ComingSoon tells it:
The government is expected to pay up to $25 million and make changes in its incentive program for big budget films which would result in an additional rebate of $15 million for the studio, depending on how each of the two films perform.
Let's hope government officials at least get some "I live in Middle-earth" t-shirts out of the deal, too, or they're going to look like real chumps.