Filming on The Lord of the Rings for Amazon Prime has been given the green light to resume in New Zealand.
Several other screen projects have been given the all clear by the NZ Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment: James Cameron’s Avatar sequels, Jane Campion’s Netflix film The Power of the Dog, Netflix series Cowboy Bebop and film Sweet Tooth, Peter Farrelly’s film Greatest Beer Run Ever starring Viggo Mortensen, and Power Rangers Beast Morphers series.
206 foreign-based cast and crew, along with 35 family members, will be allowed to enter New Zealand in the next six months. All must meet their own quarantine or self-isolation costs.
Deadline reports The Lord of The Rings was close to wrapping the first two episodes when production shut down in mid-March. The original plan had been to go on hiatus after Episode 2 and resume filming in September.
Seven suspended filming of SAS: Who Dares Wins in NZ in March, but is now looking to resume in the Snowy Mountains.
Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said, “Our success at managing COVID-19 gives our country an opportunity to become one of the few countries still able to safely produce screen content.
“And the inquiries and interest we are getting from international production houses tells me that the international film community sees New Zealand as something of a global safe haven.”
MBIE estimates that 3000 New Zealanders will be directly employed by the productions, which would bring in $400m to the economy.