New Zealand Rallies for Hobbit Film

Ever since The Fellowship of the Ring was released in 2001 (was it really that long ago? Time flies!), filming locations in New Zealand has become a popular destination for fans of J.R.R. Tolkein's stories of Hobbits, Orcs, wizards and magical rings. Ten years after the first film wrapped, director Peter Jackson has reportedly been preparing to begin filming the prequel to the iconic trilogy: The Hobbit.

But there's trouble in paradise: As the New York Times (via Reuters) mentions today, Jackson may not return to the locations he made popular with the first films.

According to the articles, Kiwis held a rally on Monday--New Zealand's Labor Day--to encourage Jackson and his entourage to come back, but, as Reuters explains it, "union protests about working conditions infuriated Jackson and unnerved the studio. The Time Warner division said last week it would seek film locations outside New Zealand, a move that economists said could cost the country up to $1.5 billion."

The article goes on to add that the unions have since backed down.

Keep an eye out here for more news about the movies, and the impact they'll have on tourism to New Zealand...