Australia Shakes Up Incentives for Dwayne Johnson’s ‘San Andreas’

HONG KONG – The San Andreas Fault may be one of California’s best known landmarks, but New Line Cinema’s upcoming film of the same title is expected to shoot in Australia.

The 3D thriller, to star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as a helicopter pilot searching for his daughter after an earthquake, is expected to lens in the Village Roadshow Studios in Gold Coast, Queensland. It may take in other ‘Down Under’ locations including Brisbane and Ipswich.

With a $100 million budget, the film is set up as a production involving New Line and Village Roadshow Pictures, the U.S. film financing arm of Australia’s Village Roadshow Limited, and also involves Beau Flynn’s production firm The Flynn Picture Company.

Brad Peyton, who previously directed Johnson in “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island”, is set as helmer. Warner Bros. will release the film in North America and has set a June 5, 2015 date.

The film is understood to have been granted a portion of Australia’s $20 million fund set up specially to attract overseas movies to the country. (Others include Angelina Jolie’s directorial effort “Unbroken” and “The Moon And The Sun.”)

San Andreas” will also be eligible for the Queensland Production Incentive Scheme, local payroll tax rebates and federal rebates.

“The Australian Screen Production Incentive that I introduced in 2007 has proved to be a highly successful stimulant for investment in Australian productions and has served to attract and secure a number of major international films to Australia,” Federal Arts Minister George Brandis told local media.

“All [Australian] states have found it hard in the last year or so, particularly with the high [Australian] dollar. But this is a sign Queensland is back on track and it is very good news for the industry,” said Queensland Arts Minister Ian Walker.

Queensland estimates that the movie will pump $30 million into the state economy, employ 70 local production crew and have roles for over 2,000 extras.

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