Fantasy stories, as a general rule, are frequently set in lush green forests and rolling, grass-covered hills. There are often beautiful, rushing rivers and lovely dales, as well. And while the movie industry is currently loving the fantasy book action, the world is notably short on large areas of nature that look like an idealized version of Europe in the Middle Ages. However, New Zealand has some choice territory, and has consequently found itself very popular.

Most recent and notable of the New Zealand film gang is probably The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, top box office taker of the winter season.* In fact, production company Walden Media was really thrilled with the place, and wants to head right back for Prince Caspian. Apparently, a deal is very close to finalizing. And that's not all! Word is Walden Media also wants to make the place a permanent location by building a state-of-the-art studio space. You can check out a video news report with the details here.

This shouldn't surprise anyone -- the country is beautiful and it makes for great exterior settings in the sorts of films that Walden likes to handle. I'm sure it makes good money for the big NZ as well, so everyone can be happy. Except, I suppose, countries that don't have anything to offer in the film department -- but they're just jealous.

*Yes, it eked ahead of Harry Potter.