The Hobbit, featuring the vistas of Queenstown and Otago as
part of Middle Earth, wrapped on Friday and entered the
post-production phase before the world premiere of The
Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington on November 28.
The world's eyes will be on New Zealand over the next 24
months, thanks to The Hobbit; and it is time to
promote the country as the place to visit, do business and
shoot more films on location, Tourism New Zealand says.
Overseas actors working on The Hobbit films are still
protected by union agreements negotiated abroad but New
Zealand film production staff have been "stripped of their
rights", Associate Prof Ian McAndrew, of the University of
Sir Peter Jackson raised concerns in 2010 about immigration
rules required to bring Hobbit film workers into the country
- and the Government gave him an assurance it would intervene
to ensure he would not face problems.
Scottish actor and comedian Billy Connolly will join the
world of Middle Earth to play a dwarf warrior in Peter
Jackson's "Hobbit" films, the director said, completing the
casting of the two long-awaited movies.