According to Theonering.net, and their various sources.. the already troubled adaption of the Hobbit has hit yet another problem. This time, due to some Minuscule new Zealand actors union.
I have very little time for Unions when it comes to anything to do with the film industry.. they aren't essential to the welfare of the Nation or planet the way that air traffic controllers or coal miners or teachers or firefighters are. And since we are still feeling the effects of the 2008 SWG strike.. in other words I hold them responsible for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.. and a sin of that sort takes a long time to atone for.
Now, Ian Mckellen, Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett are all making noise that they may decline to be in "The Hobbit" unless Warner Brothers/MGM and Peter Jackson agree to the demands of this Union. So no Gandalf, no Elrond, and no White Council scene.
I'm going to admit, I'm looking at this only from my perspective. I want the adaptions made, I wanted them made back in 2004, and feel that a lot of the problems the production has been beset by are Peter Jackson's Fault alone. He didn't strike while the iron was hot, he dawdled and made King Kong and the Lovely bones.. two movies which vastly underperformed when compared to the Rings adaptions. I understand that, The Lord of the Rings was an immense undertaking, it was a huge project which consumed nearly a decade of his life. But I still feel that a large chunk of the production problems rest on his shoulders.
But the financial squabbles have plagued the Tolkien adaption since Return of the King swept the Oscars. And they cannot be laid at the feet of Peter Jackson alone. No one cared when they didn't think it was going to make any money.. And yes, a lot of the actors who were in the Rings adaption were treated very shabbily from all indications. The financial problems have come from all directions, from the Tolkien Estate, from Tolkien Enterprises, from New Line, from Peter Jackson, from Warner Brothers. Not even taking into account MGM's own financial problems, which are essentially the Hobbit's financial problems because of the ridiculous Intellectual property laws at work.
But at this point, I feel that if it's going to turn into such a fiasco that they may have to move the production to eastern Europe (following in the footsteps of Voyage of the Dawn Treader) and then do without the few actors who would bring continuity to the new production from the previous films.. it simply isn't worth doing.
It's a huge screw up, and as always, the only people who truly lose out here are the fans, that and the non union people in New Zealand who would stand to make a tremendous amount of money off of the production, not to mention the upsurge in tourism.
I for one, as a fan, am tired of this constant march of good news, bad news. Every time we think something might be maybe going to happen, an actor yaps their gob or column of figures dosen't add up right and we are back to waiting.
So when is it time to throw in the towel?