Jackson on the defensive over Hobbit accusations
As we streak towards the opening of The Hobbit, Peter Jackson has been forced to deny that 27 animals involved in the shoot may have died as a result of poor treatment.
Earlier in the week, it emerged that some animal handlers who worked on the Lord of the Rings prequel felt that various horses, goats and sheep suffered as a result of being kept in unsuitable conditions. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals kicked into action and began threatening protests.
“The producers completely reject the accusations that 27 animals died due to mistreatment during the making of the films,” Jackson said in an uncompromising, unambiguous response. “Extraordinary measures were taken to make sure that animals were not used during action sequences or any other sequence that might create undue stress for the animals involved.”
Just as that was dying down, news arrived that the Tolkien estate – which, earlier in the year, leant on a publican who had dared to name his establishment “The Hobbit” – was taking action against the film’s producers for licensing online gambling games featuring characters from the novels. The estate claims that the sale of film rights in 1969 did not take in “electronic or digital rights, rights in media yet to be devised or other intangibles such as rights in services”.
Get used to the agro, Pete. There are another two films still to come in the trilogy.