THE HOBBIT Begins Casting to the Disdain of the Screen Actors Guild
Published: September 25, 2010 - 4:11pm
The casting process has begun for the two-part film adaptation of The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien; but the SAG has issued a warning urging actors to stay away.
An open casting call for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit has been published in New Zealand's daily newspaper the Wellington Dominion Post (via The Playlist), asking for actors and actresses who fit certain height requirements:
The Hobbit Casting Department are starting to prep their short and tall persons file in a search for Scale Doubles for the film.
Please Note: This is NOT an extras casting call. There will be other casting calls at a later stage for different roles.
Although director Guillermo del Toro recently relinquished his duties with the two-part film, Peter Jackson is apparently still hoping to officially begin production around January 2011. Major issues have continued to push back production on this film for over three years, and it appears the Hobbit curse won't be broken any time soon.
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) have issued a conjoined warning to any actors or actresses who wishto join the non-unionized cast of The Hobbit.
The makers of feature film The Hobbit – to be shot in New Zealand next year – have refused to engage performers on union-negotiated agreements.
Members of Canadian Actors Equity, U.S. Actors Equity, the Screen Actors Guild, UK Actors Equity, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (Australia) and the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists are advised not to accept work on this non-union production.
If you are contacted to be engaged on The Hobbit please notify your union immediately.
For more information about this non-union production click here.
The Hobbit and Engagement of Performers
For some years performers in New Zealand have struggled on non-union contracts. These contracts provide no minimum guarantees of wages or working conditions, no residual payments and no cancellation payments in the event the performer’s contract is cancelled.
In 2006, at the request of New Zealand performers, the Australian union, the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (Alliance) opened an office in New Zealand.
Since that time the New Zealand branch of the Alliance has sought to negotiate with both individual producers and with the producers’ association but to no avail.
The International Federation of Actors (FIA), of which the vast majority of performer unions around the world are members, resolved that the time had come for performers around the world to support their colleagues in New Zealand and seek a union contract for all performers on The Hobbit.
Who is FIA?
FIA represents performer unions in 100 countries around the world. Unions represented include the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), American Actors Equity, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), Canadian Actors Equity, Equity UK and the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance.”
Head over to Deadline Hollywood to read the full release, as well as updates from both sides to this latest batch of Hobbit turmoil.