Last we heard about The Hobbit, Guillermo Del Toro dropped out, Peter Jackson was unofficially directing and secretly auditioning actors, the movie had yet to be green-lit, and Ian McKellen was getting super-antsy about the whole thing and threatening not to play Gandalf. This shouldn't help the long-gestating movie happen any quicker: Actors' guilds including SAG issued actual alerts yesterday against working on any of the Hobbit films, advising their members not to take parts in the non-union production, should they be offered them. Apparently, the movie's backers have rebuffed efforts by a New Zealand actors union to organize fair deals for Hobbit actors. (This probably applies to Middle Earth extras, mostly.) The New Zealand Actors' Equity now wants to meet with Jackson himself! This Tuesday. And he'd better be there, they say, for "negotiating a contract providing minimum guarantees on wages and working conditions, residual payments, and cancellation payments to actors engaged on the production." Movie magic, everyone.
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