Believe me when I say there is no place on earth that could do justice to the backdrop needed (aka, Middle Earth) for the “The Hobbit” like New Zealand. It’s beyond gorgeous and represent an unspoiled, raw view of nature that consistently lands it in the “Top Places To Go Before You Bite It” category.
So it’s rather a shame that disputes between Warner Bros and the NZ actors’ union is forcing considerations of alternative locations. In fact, Fran Walsh, the wife of “Lord Of The Rings” director Peter Jackson, says that the studio is now scouting locations in the UK.
“They have people in the UK taking location photos,” the Kiwi film producer told Radio New Zealand. “They’ve got a huge studio there that they own that Harry Potter have vacated, the ex-Rolls Royce factory. They say it would be perfect for us.”
Screw that. There isn’t enough digital computer magic in the world to replicate the beauty that is New Zealand — and if there is, I’d sure as hell prefer the real stuff over the 1 and 0s — especially in light of all the people moaning after watching “Avatar” about how earth is so devoid of comparable scenery. Here’s to hoping Jackson and Co. work it out with the unions. Mother Nature deserves her closeup — and New Zealand is her best side.