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    The Hobbit Staying Put in New Zealand

    Lord of the Rings, Two Towers, Gollum New Line Cinema

    Middle-earth isn't moving after all.

    As the possibility loomed that The Hobbit would be shot somewhere other than New Zealand, the country's prime minister, John Key, announced that the two-part Lord of the Rings prequel will indeed be filmed there too.

    MORE: The Hobbit gets its Bilbo—and many dwarfs!

    The confirmation comes after a long tug-of-war between the movie's director Peter Jackson and several acting unions that had initially threatened to boycott the production in light of the fact that the project would employ nonunion actors.

    Such threats didn't sit well with Jackson, who last month suggested that such action could very well lead him to taking The Hobbit to Eastern Europe, or worse, just shut the whole thing down altogether.

    However, a deal was reached earlier this week to keep The Shire right where it started after government officials promised it will make changes in legislation regarding the labor laws within the industry.

    Shooting is slated to begin in February.

    PHOTOS: Casting Couch

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