The film industry in Auckland must breathe a huge sigh of relief every time US producer Rob Tapert arrives in town.

His close links to the NZ city began in the 1990s with the making of the Hercules series and Xena: Warrior Princess and now he is back living there, having just finished making a new swords-and-sandals series, Spartacus, and with a second series of Legend of the Seeker underway.

And with long-time partner Sam Raimi he has shot a "bunch of horror movies" there over the years.

The first series of Legend of the Seeker has just begun on Fox8.

It is based on Terry Goodkind's The Sword of Truth novels and stars Australian actors Craig Horner (Blue Water High), Jessica Marais (Packed to the Rafters) and Bruce Spence (The Matrix Revolutions), along with Jay Laga'aia (Water Rats, Xena), who grew up in Auckland.

When we speak, Tapert is in Sydney on holiday with his wife Lucy Lawless, who starred in Xena and is also in Spartacus.

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