MGM Makes Room for Hobbit and New Zealand Government Under Fire
MGM finished clearing out some room this week in order to receive approval from the Bankruptcy judge to move forward with some of their “highly anticipated” projects (James Bond and of course The Hobbit). Both movies are not set to be released until late 2012, so a lot is riding on these two films for the studio giant (no pressure Peter). For quite some time now, MGM has been under bankruptcy and working hard to settle some of their debt in order to restructure itself to a point where they can emerge out of bankruptcy, which is very close at this point. The judge did grant MGM permission to move forward with the movie projects, so there will be no delays for The Hobbit, as for now.
The New Zealand government is under fire from local labor unions who are claiming that the government sold out their citizens in order to secure the location for the filming of the Hobbit movies. It was only a couple months ago when New Zealand being the location for the movies was jeopardized, due to labor protests and stringent laws that was not appealing to Warner Brothers. However, New Zealand government officials came to the rescue and struck a deal with Warner, keeping the over $500 million anticipated investment on the Kiwi Island.
Now, it is coming to light the content of the deals that the government struck with Warner. Many laws that have been instated for decades, protecting local labor unions, were amended to satisfy the demands of the studio. One in particular, the law prohibiting changing the status of an employee to an independent contractor. Many local union leaders feel that their government “sold them out” at the stakes of a “giant corporation.” They may end up forgiving their leaders, when that new influx of capital into the island begins to show up in their personal paychecks.
Big Hobbit announcements are in the very near future, so be sure to stay updated!