‘Cowboy Bebop’, ‘LoTR’ granted border exemptions in New Zealand

'Cowboy Bebop', 'LoTR' granted border exemptions in NZ

The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment of New Zealand are granting border exemptions to the productions of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop series, Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series, and several other major projects.

According to a report by Deadline, the Cowboy Bebop and Lord of the Rings TV productions are joined by Sweet Tooth (another Netflix series), Peter Farrelly’s Greatest Beer Run Ever movie (which stars Viggo Mortensen), and the Power Rangers Beast Morphers series in getting their border exemptions approved.

These productions follow two other major projects that have already resumed their respective shoots in New Zealand: James Cameron’s highly-anticipated sequels to 2009’s Avatar and New Zealand native and acclaimed director Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog film for Netflix, starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Kirsten Dunst (On Becoming a God in Central Florida), and Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad).

Productions resume as lockdown loosens

With the multiple productions mentioned above now getting their border exemptions, more than 200 production personnel consisting of performers and filmmakers from outside New Zealand are expected to arrive in the country in the next few months, along with about three dozen accompanying family members, per Deadline’s report.

As expected, each of these foreign-based crew and companions will be required to follow strict quarantine protocols as set by the New Zealand government.

Some may remember that even the King of the World himself, James Cameron, had to undergo a two-week quarantine period before he could start filming for the Avatar sequels.

Speaking of the Avatar sequels, the production of the upcoming movies is expected to bring in an additional ten crew members. Since the resumption of filming, the Avatar sequels already have more than 30 production staff present in New Zealand.

Lord of the Rings Rise to War

Excitement for Cowboy Bebop and LoTR fans

It was more than a year ago when Netflix had made the announcement that it will be developing a live-action series based on the classic anime show Cowboy Bebop.

And just last year, it was confirmed that the lead roles of Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine, and Vicious will be played by stars John Cho (Star Trek Beyond), Mustafa Shakir (Luke Cage), Daniella Pineda (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), and Alex Hassell (The Boys), respectively.

Although the series has already begun production in 2019, it had to cease filming after lead star John Cho suffered a knee injury while shooting in New Zealand last fall. But in the next few weeks, the actor is expected to be back in production.

As for Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series, it had likewise started shooting a couple of episodes in the country back in February before it was forced to shut down last March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The series is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, prior to the events portrayed in Peter Jackson’s early 2000s epic film trilogy.

Image 1 courtesy of Cowboy Bebop (Official Bandai Page), Image 2 courtesy of paxillop/Pixabay

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