‘The Hobbit’ Faces Possible Actors Strike

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Already faced with difficulties in getting the green light for their new epic production “The Hobbit”, Warner Bros and New Line Pictures are preparing to have new road block placed in their path.

The Screen Actors Guild has recently called for actors to boycott the film’s production, to support an international effort aimed at forcing the production into a contract for its actors and not just the ones covered by SAG.

Organized by New Zealand’s Actor’s Equity and its umbrella company, the Australian Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), the union has reportedly already received the support of the SAG actors involved, including actor Ian McKellan who portrayed Gandalf in the first series of “Lord of the Rings’ movies.

Producer of “The Hobbit”, Peter Jackson, is reported to be furious with these new developments.

Jackson is well known for pumping huge sums of money into New Zealand’s economy by choosing his home country as the set for his previous productions such as “Lord of the Rings” and “King Kong”.

Apart from feeling that the MEAA’s agenda is based solely on money and power, he launched a scathing tirade in the New Zealand press, calling the MEAA “an Australian bully boy.”

The producer further warned that if the boycott does not get called off, it may have dire consequences for the film industry in the country in future. He also said that filming of the movie will be moved to Europe unless things change for the better.

Members of New Zealand’s Actor’s Equity are expected to meet in Auckland on Tuesday. New Line, Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM have also issued a statement saying that the unions’ claims are unfair to Jackson.

The statement concluded with “Motion picture production requires the certainty that a production can reasonably proceed without disruption … As such, we are exploring all alternative options in order to protect our business interests.”

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Photo source: Wikipedia