Lucas lands Presidio

ILM reaches agreement on new home in S.F.

HOLLYWOOD — Cue the wrecking ball: George Lucas is waiting in the wings.

Effects shop Industrial Light & Magic and other Lucas Digital operations aim to make their new home in San Francisco’s Presidio by about 2005, following Tuesday’s signing of a long-stalled agreement to raze existing buildings at the site. That’s two years later than a previous target date for building and fully occupying a 900,000-square-foot digital arts center on the parklike former Army base.

Under the newly signed pact, Lucas Digital will pay no more than $10 million to destroy a former military hospital located on 23 acres designated for the longtime Marin County company’s new digs. The agreement is attached to a land-lease document calling for Lucas to pay $5 million annually to the Presidio Trust for long-term rights to the tract, but that won’t be signed until razing is completed and a design is finalized.

Artifact pact

Negotiations to nail down terms of the agreement have dragged on for months, with the prospect of finding significant artifacts at the site one concern. Lucas held out for safeguards against bearing heavy costs if archeological digs occur.

“That was really a concern, because we don’t know what’s under that hospital site,” Presidio Trust spokesman Ron Sonenshine said.

Even pest control was addressed. “These are little things to you and I, but they take time and a lot of talk,” a project insider observed.

Design changes

Razing operations are expected to commence within 60 days and last until April, with up to 30 months of construction to follow. Haggling over design features also has held things up, and some requested minor changes still must be addressed.

“We are pleased to have executed the agreement and will now be focusing all of our efforts on design development,” Lucas project topper Gordon Radley said.

Popular on Variety

More Film


    Tim Roth, Clive Owen-Starrer 'The Song Of Names' To Close San Sebastian

    Starring Clive Owen and Tim Roth, Canadian François Girard’s historical drama “The Song of Names” will close the 67th San Sebastian Festival on Sept. 28. World premiering at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival as a Gala Presentation, “The Song of Names” will play out of competition at what will be its international premiere. Hanway Films [...]

  • Dogwoof Boards Venice-Bound Imelda Marcos Doc

    Dogwoof Boards Venice-Bound Imelda Marcos Documentary ‘The Kingmaker’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Dogwoof has boarded Lauren Greenfield’s “The Kingmaker,” about Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines. The hotly anticipated feature doc delves into the disturbing legacy of the Marcos regime and Imelda’s attempts to aid her son’s political career. It will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and then screen at [...]

  • Yao Chen in “Send Me to

    Cheng Cheng Films Nabs North American Rights to China's 'Send Me to the Clouds'

    New York-based distributor Cheng Cheng Films has acquired North American rights to first-time Chinese director Teng Congcong’s comedy drama “Send Me to the Clouds,” starring and produced by A-list actress Yao Chen. The company is planning a theatrical release for fall 2019. “Cheng Cheng has always championed films with strong female leads,” the firm said [...]

  • A White White Day

    Film Movement Brings ‘A White, White Day’ to the U.S. (EXCLUSIVE)

    OSLO  —  New-York based distributor Film Movement has acquired U.S. rights to critically-lauded Icelandic drama “A White, White Day,” today’s opening film at New Nordic Films in Haugesund. In a separate deal, sales agent New Europe Film Sales has closed French-speaking Canada with Funfilm and English-speaking Canada with Game Theory. Hlynur Pálmason’s sophomore pic, “A [...]

  • (from left) Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham)

    Korea Box Office: ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ Topples ‘Exit,’ ‘Roar to Victory’  

    Opening on Wednesday, “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” debuted on top of the South Korean box office. Showing on some 1,311 screens nationwide, the UPI release earned $15.1 million from 2.03 million admissions over five days. That included the four-day National Liberation Day weekend. “The Battle: Roar to Victory” remained in second. The [...]

  • Tracy Morgan Netflix stand-up special

    Film News Roundup: Tracy Morgan Joins Eddie Murphy's 'Coming 2 America'

    In today’s film news roundup, Tracy Morgan and Michael Rooker book roles in major movies, and Gravitas buys “Christmas Break-In.” CASTINGS Tracy Morgan has signed on to appear in Eddie Murphy’s “Coming 2 America” sequel as the brother of Lesley Jones’ character. “Hustle & Flow” helmer Craig Brewer is directing the project with Murphy, Kevin [...]

  • Spider-Man Far From Home

    'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Gets Re-Release With New Scene

    Sony Pictures is re-releasing “Spider-Man: Far From Home” with a new action scene. Starting Aug. 29, a new extended cut, featuring four minutes of a never-before-seen action sequence, will be released in theaters in the United States and Canada. The film will also be available in IMAX and large formats in select locations. “Spider-Man: Far [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content