Besson gets studio power

New facility will house nine sound stages, office building

Luc Besson has received the greenlight to convert a disused former power station on the outskirts of Paris into a e130 million ($166 million) film studio.

Local authorities in St. Denis, a suburb north of Paris, gave their approval on Thursday, two years after the project was submitted.

New facility, designated a project of national interest in 2004, will be centered on a 377,000 sq.-foot complex housing nine sound stages and an office building with 323,000 square feet of floor space where Besson’s EuropaCorp and other companies will take up residence.  

One of two power generators dating from 1933, which appears in Besson’s films “Nikita” and “Leon,” will be salvaged as part of the project, which is expected to take 18 months to two years to complete.

Thomson Technicolor and Tarak ben Ammar’s Quinta Communications’ announced at last year’s Cannes Film Festival that they would partner with Besson in the studio, with Quinta’s post-production facilities moving into office space there.

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