After "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" producers were hit with accusation of mistreating animals during the filming in New Zealand, Elijah Wood has spoken up in defense of the movie bosses. The actor, who will reprise his role as Frodo in the adventure movie, thinks the wrangles who made such claim are trying to make quick money.
Calling the deaths of 27 animals "heartbreaking," the "Wilfred" star said he never saw poor condition during the filming. He tells TMZ when met at LAX, "I never saw any of those conditions when I was down there."
He further insists, "All of the technicians who worked on the film take the utmost care of the animals." Considering the timing of complaints, which is less than a month before the movie is released, Wood is suspicious that the wranglers are trying to sabotage the film.
A group of wranglers in New Zealand recently claimed that the producers were responsible for the deaths of those animals due to the condition of the animals living quarters, which was said to be filled with bluffs, sinkholes and other "death traps." The filmmakers have since rejected the accusation.
"Extraordinary measures were taken to make sure that animals were not used during action sequences or any other sequence that might create undue stress for the animals involved," the producers stated. "Over 55% of all shots using animals in The Hobbit are in fact computer generated; this includes horses, ponies, rabbits, hedgehogs, birds, deer, elk, mice, wild boars, and wolves."
The first "Hobbit" movie will hit theaters across the U.S. on December 14. Its second installment "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" will open next year on December 13, while the final chapter "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" is set to arrive in cinemas on July 18, 2014.