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Peter Jackson museum costs soar as taxpayers asked to foot the bill

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 17/04/2018 Rachel Quigley

Sir Peter Jackson is well-known for his blockbuster movies like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit trilogy and King Kong. Unfortunately for the New Zealand filmmaker, the budget of the Wellington convention centre project, which will house his movie museum, has become quite a blockbuster as well.

a close up of Peter Jackson: Wellington City Council is asking taxpayers to foot part of the bill for a convention center, which will house Sir Peter Jackson's movie museum © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Wellington City Council is asking taxpayers to foot part of the bill for a convention center, which will house Sir Peter Jackson's movie museum The cost of Wellington City Council’s project has reportedly surged from the original price of $134 million (£68 million) to $165 million (£84 million), necessitating the council to request $25 million (£12 million) in public funding to complete the ambitious project.

Wellington City Council has reportedly earmarked funds for the project starting in 2019, with an estimated completion date in 2022 or 2023. Though announced almost three years ago, the project has remained in limbo due to funding disputes. In December 2017, Sir Peter Jackson fired off a critical letter to the city council, alleging that the council was ‘reneging on many of the terms already agreed in the November 2015 signed contract’ and that it felt like the city council was ‘attempting to sabotage the project.’

Documents from the Wellington City Council have shown that it would spend about $7.4 million (£3.7 million) annually in operating costs for the first six years of its operation, with costs then declining slightly in future years of operation. By 2028, the museum and convention center project was expected to add approximately $117 million (£58 million) in debt to the city council, while up to $2 million (£1 million) per year would be used from the city’s growth fund to reduce the fiscal burden to taxpayers.

Jordan Williams, executive director of the Taxpayers’ Union, stated that the project was ‘difficult to assess’ not knowing how much Jackson was willing to risk financially on the project in relation to taxpayers.

Also reacting to the news was John Milford, the chief executive of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, who stated that his group was ‘still waiting for the final business case to be published’ but that asking for public support for the project could be ‘sensible.’

Who is Peter Jackson?

Peter Jackson is a film director, producer and screenwriter best-known for popular blockbusters like 'he Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit trilogy, King Kong and The Lovely Bones, among others.

Jackson was born on October 31, 1961 in Wellington, New Zealand.

Growing up, Jackson expressed a deep interest in and appreciation for filmmaking. After leaving school at age 16 to work as a photo-engraver for The Evening Post in his native Wellington, Jackson began to experiment as a filmmaker despite receiving no professional training in the field.

His early work was far different from the multimillion dollar blockbusters he’d eventually become known for, instead being focused on horror-comedy movies with his films 1987’s Bad Taste, 1989’s Meet the Feebles and 1992’s Braindead, all going on to become cult favorites. After winning acclaim in the 1990s for Heavenly Creatures in 1994, Forgotten Silver in 1995 and The Frighteners in 1996, he won the rights to produce J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy classic The Lord of the Rings in 1997.

After an arduous shoot that lasted from October 1999 to December 2000, Jackson’s fantasy trilogy hit theaters in 2001, 2002 and 2003 to critical acclaim and outstanding commercial success at the box office, transforming him into one of Hollywood’s hottest commodities virtually overnight. He soon followed up with a 2005 remake of his favorite film as a child, King Kong, which also proved to be a critical and box office success.

Jackson later directed the acclaimed supernatural drama The Lovely Bones in 2009 and focused more on film production in the following years, working on movies like District 9 in 2009 and West of Memphis in 2012. However, he soon returned to the material that made him an international star, writing, producing and ultimately taking over as director for a new film trilogy based on Tolkien’s classic book 'The Hobbit'. As with The Lord of The Rings, The Hobbit trilogy also garnered critical and commercial acclaim after its release in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

In addition to his outstanding success at the box office, Jackson has also been honored with many accolades over the course of his career, earning nominations and wins for the Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards, Critics’ Choice Awards, Golden Globe Awards and others.

What is Peter Jackson’s net worth?

Peter Jackson’s net worth is believed to be approximately $500 million (£349 million), according to Celebrity Net Worth

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