Union tell actors to avoid Hobbit films

Andy Serkis (left) and Sir Ian McKellen Andy Serkis (left) and Sir Ian McKellen starred in The Lord of the Rings movies

Global actors' unions have told their members not to take roles in the new The Hobbit movies amid a row over pay.

Cate Blanchett, Sir Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis are among the stars who have been linked with the two big-budget Lord of the Rings prequels.

But seven unions in the US, Australia, the UK and Canada said producers refused to negotiate a deal with them.