Unexpected Controversies Cast a Shadow Over Middle-Earth

  • Carolyn MichelleEmail author
  • Charles H. Davis
  • Ann L. Hardy
  • Craig Hight


This chapter focuses on a controversy that shaped public discussion and debate around the Hobbit production before the first film’s release. The extended Hobbit union dispute, which threatened to derail the trilogy’s New Zealand production and prompted widely criticised reforms to New Zealand labour law, reveals much about how processes and imperatives of blockbusterisation are reshaping transnational film production. Audience reactions to this issue demonstrate how and why a transnational production such as The Hobbit can have varying degrees of salience for differently located audiences, while also demonstrating the potential for cinematic desire for fetishised cultural commodities to ultimately trump consideration of the conditions under which such commodities are produced.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carolyn Michelle
    • 1
    Email author
  • Charles H. Davis
    • 2
  • Ann L. Hardy
    • 3
  • Craig Hight
    • 4
  1. 1.Audience Research UnitUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  2. 2.RTA School of MediaRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Screen and Media StudiesUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  4. 4.School of Creative ArtsThe University of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia

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