Those of us who've been in mourning ever since we heard that The Hobbit wouldn't share the same Middle-earth landscape as the Lord of the Rings trilogy—after all, didn't Peter Jackson announce just last week that the prequel was definitely getting the heck out of New Zealand?—can cheer up. Because The Hobbit will remain in Kiwi country after all.
Peter Jackson hasn't made an official comment yet, but the union problems that seemed likely to force the production to film elsewhere are over, and Warner Brothers has agreed to stay in New Zealand, thanks to concessions made by the government.
According to The New York Times:
As part of the deal to keep production of the The Hobbit in New Zealand, the government will introduce new legislation on Thursday to clarify the difference between an employee and a contractor ...
In addition, [Prime Minister John Key] said the country would offset $10 million of Warner's marketing costs as the government agreed to a joint venture with the studio to promote New Zealand "on the world stage."
He also announced an additional tax rebate for the films, saying Warner Brothers would be eligible for as much as $7.5 million extra per picture, depending on the success of the films.
Let's hope there'll be no more roadblocks to delay The Hobbit from reaching the screen. Based on the project's troubled history, we're betting this won't be the last. But still, we're feeling a heck of a lot better this morning.
How about you?