This has got to be some of the most unsettling movie news I have heard in a long, long time. Allegations of major animal cruelty have been cast upon Peter Jackson and his crew while filming the first installment of the mega blockbuster ‘The Hobbit’ just over two weeks before the film’s set to debut here in the United States. This is terrible news as this movie has been one of my most anticipated if not most anticipated films for years.
Peter Jackson has been a favorite of mine since ‘Bad Taste’ and The Lord of the Rings trilogy being one of my top 3 favorite films ever. But The Hobbit is being blamed for twenty seven animal deaths some being horses goats and chickens. Here’s what I has been reported so far via Huffington Post:
“Animal wranglers involved in the making of “The Hobbit” movie trilogy say the production company is responsible for the deaths of up to 27 animals, largely because they were kept at a farm filled with bluffs, sinkholes and other “death traps.”
The American Humane Association however, which is overseeing animal welfare on the films, says no animals were harmed during the actual filming. But it also says the wranglers’ complaints highlight shortcomings in its oversight system, which monitors film sets but not the facilities where the animals are housed and trained.”
Jackson and the films producers reject these accusations saying that no animals were mistreated during the filming of the Hobbit. This however may be true but where the animals were housed at, a farm nearby, is where these animals died. Apparently the farm was wasn’t fenced properly and the bluff and sinkholes are where many of the animals died. There were also reports of chicken maulings by dogs and many instances were due too poor oversight of the animals. There have also been allegations that the animals feed was causing deaths as well.
Several stars of the film like Elijah Wood claim that this is merely a reaction from angry wranglers who were let go from the film trying sabotage the release. He claims he never witnessed any animals being harmed. However I really doubt Elijah was hanging out at the farm where they were kept too often.
It seems to me that this story has been kept thus far for the most part incredibly quiet, I only heard about it first last night and the story broke almost a week and a half ago. It could be the studio keeping it as hush hush as possible as to not deter people from seeing the movie. Or maybe I am just out of the loop. Personally this is a story I want to follow as it does affect my decision of supporting the movie. This films budget was over $500 million dollars, I can’t believe that Jackson and crew were unable to keep these animals safe, because at the end of the day at least 27 animals died due to being involved with this movie. Protests of the movie’s premiere are already being organized all over the world. What do you think? Could this affect whether you see The Hobbit?
Here’s a great new pic just released today from the upcoming Hobbit movie due out next December 2012, it’s a simple picture of Martin Freeman as the Younger Bilbo Baggins and all I can really say is get me the HELL back to Middle Earth as soon a possible! It seems us ‘Rings’ fans are getting exactly what we want, with Peter Jackson completing the story and here seeing how perfect Freeman looks in the role of Bilbo…
In the meantime thought check out these live clips way back from 1990, for this live performance of the Hobbit done by The Children’s Theater Company of Minneapolis MN, Pretty damn bad ass!