Taking our fierce anticipation for the first installment of Peter Jackson’s forthcoming The Hobbit trilogy were reports earlier this month that production on the film resulted in the injuries and deaths of many animals on set. When accusations were made against the film for endangering the lives of several horses, goats, sheep, and chickens, director/producer Jackson spoke in defense of his picture. Jackson affirmed that the unfortunate deaths to befall said animals were through no fault of the staff. Warner Bros. followed suit with an official statement of its own, backing up Jackson’s claims.
Deadline reports that a news conference at Embassy Theater in Wellington, New Zealand (whereat the world premiere of The Hobbit was screened on Wednesday) afforded Jackson a platform to continue to defend his movie. The filmmaker pronounced that The Hobbit afforded “absolutely … no mistreatment, no abuse” to any of the animals onset.
Despite the negative press surrounding The Hobbit as a result of this news, Jackson is optimistic about his film, which will reach American theaters on Dec. 14. “At the end of the day,” Jackson said, “we’ve made a movie we’re extremely proud of. So many people have worked for so long, it will take a bit more than that to spoil the event.” He even deemed animal rights activism group PETA’s endeavors to highlight the alleged transgressions of the film production as “pretty pathetic.”
[Photo Credit: News Pictures/Wenn]