After some pre-production strife that found union woes forcing Peter Jackson and the studios to start looking elsewhere to shoot the massive two-film "The Hobbit" leading to New Zealand PM John Key himself asking the filmmaker to stay, it looks like everyone is in love with each other again.
At a press conference today in New Zealand, it was formally announced that the nation will host the world premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" in late November 2012. “I think Warner Bros. in particular were blown away by the 'Return of the King' premiere – no one in the international industry could quite believe how the country got behind that,” Jackson said referring to the Embassy Theatre bow on December 1, 2003. Better start booking those flights. It's definitely a big thank you to the country that has hosted Jackson's huge productions and it's certainly a change from the United Kingdom and New York City premiers for 'The Fellowship Of The Ring' and 'The Two Towers.'
Jackson also took time at today's press conference to announce that he and Fran Walsh's longstanding support of the West Memphis Three will continue, as he will continue to work see a full pardon for the men. The trio were freed on an Alford Plea, which technically still assigns them guilt of the crime. “We’re doing investigative work, we’re doing forensic work” that is for “the purpose of getting a complete pardon,” Jackson said. And for the rumors that Damian Echols -- who is currently visiting Jackson in New Zealand -- would be getting a role in the one of the "The Hobbit" movies? Not true.