The New Zealand government announced on Wednesday that it has reached an agreement with director Peter Jackson and Warner Bros. that will keep production on The Hobbit in the country, according to CNN. “I am delighted we have achieved this result,” New Zealand prime minister John Key said. “Making the two Hobbit movies here will not only safeguard work for thousands of New Zealanders, but it will also follow the success of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy in once again promoting New Zealand on the world stage.” Key said legislation will be introduced on Thursday that will “clarify the distinction between independent contractors and employees as it relates to the film production industry.” A dispute with a New Zealand actors union, backed by a larger Australian union, had Warner Bros. considering moving the $500 million production to another country. Shooting is scheduled to start next year.
‘The Hobbit’: Martin Freeman to play Bilbo Baggins; other roles also cast