New Zealand, mainly known for its incredible number of sheep, was also the setting for the Lord of the Rings movies. Besides the publicity and the resulting influence on tourism, the country also expects an impulse in the economy resulting from everything involved in filming and producing the movie. A total amount of 670 million Dollar is reportedly at stake.
However, Warner Bros wanted tax benefits and modifications of the labor law before agreeing to filming in New Zealand. The government agreed to this, resulting in a tax benefit of 7.5 million Dollar and several law changes.
Understandably, not all New Zealanders are happy about this, which resulted in a lot of criticism in the press and some serious discussions in the New Zealand parliament.
Nonetheless, Prime Minister John Key agreed to the changes and benefits, so The Hobbit will be made in the settings we have come to identify with Middle-earth!
When will The Hobbit be made?
There have been many doubts in the past but it is starting to look like the filming of The Hobbit will really start in the near future and the movie will be in theatres late 2012. I will provide more details on this somewhere in the coming weeks.