Jack­son on the de­fen­sive over Hob­bit ac­cu­sa­tions

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS - By Don­ald Clarke

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.

Leave me be: Peter Jack­son takes cover on the set of

The Hob­bit

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