Actors Unions Say "No" to The Hobbit
Posted 09.26.10 by BrentJS
Alas, poor Bilbo Baggins. The diminutive, furry-footed star of fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit was able to outwit trolls, giant arachnids, and even a dragon, but it appears as if his quest to star in a big-screen prequel to The Lord of the Rings could be the one fight that he is unable to win. On top of MGM's seemingly insurmountable financial problems, and the loss of Guillermo del Toro as director, The Hobbit movie is under attack from the seven major actors unions. According to Variety, the unions sent out a statement on Friday warning off actors from signing on to The Hobbit because of the refusal of the movie's producers to sign a deal with local New Zealand performers.
The makers of feature film 'The Hobbit' — to be shot in New Zealand next year — have refused to engage performers on union-negotiated agreements. Members of Canadian Actors Equity, US Actors Equity, the Screen Actors Guild, UK Actors Equity, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (Australia) and the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists are advised not to accept work on this non-union production. If you are contacted to be engaged on 'The Hobbit' please notify your union immediately.
Actors are not prevented from working on The Hobbit, but they could be punished by their respective unions should they accept work on the movie. Peter Jackson, the director of the LOTR trilogy and executive producer of The Hobbit, has yet to respond to the unions' statement.