Fire Deals Further Blow to Troubled Film 'Hobbit'

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WELLINGTON (AFP) - Troubled movie "The Hobbit", which is already embroiled in a union row, suffered a further set-back after fire destroyed parts of a key studio in New Zealand.Fire investigators were Saturday sifting through the studio in Wellington, a day after battling nearly three hours to put out the fierce blaze.The studio, which specialises in making miniature models for movies, employs Oscar-winning cinematographer Alex Funke and was used in the making of Sir Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "King Kong".A spokesman for Jackson's Wingnut Films production company confirmed the studio would also have been used to shoot parts of "The Hobbit" and said some of the building had been extensively damaged.Jackson has threatened to move production of "The Hobbit" away from New Zealand after an actors' union called for an international boycott of the film.The New Zealand Actors Equity accused producers of refusing to recognise the union's right to negotiate minimum standards for its members. …