What did it take to get Peter Jackson to keep The Hobbit in New Zealand, despite his very public protestations that the “damage” had been done at the mere threat of a union strike? In the end, all Jackson apparently needed was the complete and total kowtowing of the New Zealand government, which has now promised to introduce legislation drawing distinctions between independent contractors and employees as they relate to the film industry only, ensuring that international studios like Warner Bros. feel free to set up shop in their country for years to come without further worry of having to deal with local labor representatives.

As a further “we’re sorry, please don’t ever leave us,” New Zealand also gave the production an extra $7.5 million in tax rebates per movie, will offset another $10 million of the studio’s marketing costs, agreed to host the world premiere, and is now setting off on a “long-term strategic partnership” with Warner Bros. that will find the government itself promoting The Hobbit, both as part of its tourism board and as a lure for other productions to come and film there. So yeah, that’s all he needed. Also, the fans.

Advertisement