1 Jun 2010

Further film delays feared

5:28 pm on 1 June 2010

Actors fear the resignation of the director of two films based on the book The Hobbit, could lead to further delays for the project.

Director Guillermo Del Toro of Mexico has quit his role, citing continued delays in a date being set for filming to begin.

Executive producer Peter Jackson says Del Toro felt he could not commit six years to living in New Zealand to make the films, when his original commitment was for three.

Actors Equity says the domestic film industry is already struggling.

Organiser Frances Walsh says the situation shows the industry is overly reliant on big budget overseas films.

The Dominion Post quotes Sir Peter as saying he will direct the two Hobbit films himself if no replacement can be found.

Radio New Zealand film critic Simon Morris says the struggling studio MGM is one of the reasons behind the hold-ups. He says MGM is broke.

Funding risk

Film consultant Tim Thorpe says New Zealand does not have funding available for big-budget films.

He says banks and private financiers won't offer to fund a film this big because it's too risky.