After a tense standoff, a new actors union in New Zealand announced late Wednesday it won’t boycott Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit,” from New Line/Warner Bros. and MGM. “New Zealand Actors’ Equity and the Screen Production & Development Association (SPADA) have entered into an agreement to commence good faith negotiations for a new set of conditions which will govern the way in which performers are engaged in the local screen industry,” read a statement from the groups. “Talks are to take place over the next six months. As a sign of good faith, while negotiations occur, Equity has agreed that those productions which fully comply with the current guidelines for the engagement of cast in the industry–‘The Pink Book”– will not be subject to industrial action,” unions continued.

Statement was issued only hours after Jackson and his producing partner Fran Walsh indicated they are ready to move “The Hobbit” out of New Zealand entirely because of the threatened boycott. More..