`Curse of The Hobbit` strikes again as fire destroys workshop set

Last Updated: Oct 02, 2010, 13:26 PM IST

London : One more curse has been added to the list of setbacks dubbed ‘The Curse of The Hobbit’ a workshop set, which was to be used for Sir Peter Jackson`s latest production this week, has been destroyed by fire.

Fire crews struggled for three hours to control the blaze at a warehouse in Wellington, New Zealand, where miniature fantasy sets for ‘The Hobbit’, a two-part prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, were under construction.

The latest setback comes as Sir Peter is locked in stalemate with worldwide actors` unions, which have threatened to boycott ‘The Hobbit’ in a bitter row over pay.

In scenes not unlike a Hollywood disaster movie, 14 fire engines and 50 firefighters tackled the dramatic blaze.

Damage inside is thought to be severe but the studios are remaining secretive about what has been destroyed.

Matthew Dravitzki, a spokesman for Sir Peter, confirmed the workshop was involved in his latest multi-million pound project.

"It would have been used in shooting ‘The Hobbit’, yes," a news daily quoted him as saying.

"It`s a specialist miniatures shooting facility. It`s one of the only ones in the world."

No one was injured and the cause of the fire is still being investigated.

Problems with the troubled production are being dubbed in the industry as ‘The Curse of The Hobbit’.

Filming was due to start last year but has still not begun after MGM, which is co-financing the project, was hit by financial difficulties.

Then in June, Guillermo Del Toro quit after two years as director, citing his frustration with the delays.

ANI