×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Snaring the big Hollywood pictures

U.K.'s tax credit lures in large productions

With £780 million ($1.25 billion) in inward investment, it’s already a record year for foreign production in the U.K., beating the 2009 high of $1.2 billion.

Most of that money comes from big-budget Hollywood projects. The U.K.’s tax credit is particularly attractive for such films, because it has no ceiling, and it applies to all U.K. expenditure, including the salaries of American talent.

Several $150 million-plus films booked into Blighty this year. Disney’s “John Carter of Mars” built giant sets at Longcross Studios, a former tank-testing base converted into a production facility. It also used Shepperton and converted a vacant warehouse in nearby Greenford into a temporary soundstage.

Snaring “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” was a big coup, as none of the three previous installments shot in the U.K. It came to Pinewood this fall after location shooting in Hawaii.

Marvel’s “Captain America” based itself at Shepperton, but went on location around Liverpool and Manchester.

Fox brought the Matthew Vaughn-helmed “X-Men: First Class” to Pinewood. Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” from DreamWorks has offices at Longcross but is shooting on location. Martin Scorsese’s 3D “Hugo Cabret” from GK Films is in extended residency at Shepperton.

Warner Bros., traditionally the studio with the largest commitment to U.K. production, is finally coming to the end of “Harry Potter” at Leavesden Studios. Leavesden started as a temporary facility but evolved into a permanent base. Warner has taken over the site for redevelopment and will reopen it as a full-service studio and visitor attraction in 2012.

With Leavesden out of action, Warner has several current or upcoming projects booked into other studios, including “Sherlock Holmes 2” and “Clash of the Titans 2.” Helmer Chris Nolan will return to his usual airship hangar in Cardington to shoot the next Batman.

Universal used Ealing Studios for “Johnny English Reborn.” Tim Burton’s latest stop-motion project, “Frankenweenie,” backed by Disney, is shooting at 3 Mills Studios in east London, while Sony is bankrolling two films from Aardman’s animation studio in Bristol, “Pirates!” and “Arthur Christmas.”

Indie pics squeezed in amid the blockbusters include Madonna’s “W.E,” Lone Scherfig’s “One Day,” “The Woman in Black” from Hammer Films, Jonathan Newman’s “Foster” and Tanya Wexler’s “Hysteria.”

More articles from Scout & About: U.K.
Transfer of power in the U.K. | Snaring Hollywood | Educating Eastwood on mighty Blighty | Soho hothouse

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Jennifer Lopez's 'Criminal' Striptease: How 'Hustlers' Landed the Fiona Apple Hit

    Contrary to what you might be expecting, the number of songs by Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo and Cardi B in “Hustlers,” their newly released acting vehicle, adds up to … zero. Meanwhile, the standout music sync in a movie that’s full of them belongs to no less likely a choice than Fiona Apple. The scene in [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers' Win Big at 45th Annual Saturn Awards

    As Jamie Lee Curtis picked up her first trophy ever at the 45th Annual Saturn Awards Friday night, she had a good luck charm on her arm: former manager Chuck Binder, whom she said was the reason she became an actor. “I was in college and had no thought of being an actor,” Curtis told [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu star

    Box Office: 'Hustlers' Dances Toward $32 Million Opening Weekend

    “Hustlers” is eyeing the biggest opening weekend ever for STXFilms, following a Friday domestic ticket haul of $13.1 million from 3,250 theaters. If estimates hold, the stripper saga could take home around $32 million come Sunday, marking the best live-action opening of Jennifer Lopez’s career. “Hustlers” follows a group of former strip club dancers, led [...]

  • Hustlers intimacy coordinator

    Meet the Stripper Consultant Who Gave 'Hustlers' Authenticity, Dignity and Sexual Freedom

    At last week’s Toronto Film Festival premiere of “Hustlers,” an audience of Hollywood heavyweights and Canadian locals applauded as a statuesque woman strutted on stage, rocking six-inch platform heels and a pastel tie-dye bodysuit. This adoration was not for stars Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu or Keke Palmer, nor was it for the film’s acclaimed writer-director [...]

  • Kristen Stewart

    French Director Olivier Assayas Pays Tribute to Kristen Stewart at Deauville

    French director Olivier Assayas paid tribute to Kristen Stewart, whom he directed in “Clouds of Sils Maria” and “Personal Shopper,” at the Deauville American Film Festival on Friday evening. Stewart received a honorary award in Deauville before the French premiere of Benedict Andrews’s “Seberg” in which the actress stars as Jean Seberg, a French New [...]

  • Liam Gallagher: As It Was

    Film Review: 'Liam Gallagher: As It Was'

    Liam Gallagher is nearly as fascinating a rock ‘n’ roll figure as he thinks he is … which is saying a lot. After the breakup of Oasis, one of the most self-avowedly arrogant stars in pop culture found himself severely humbled, fighting to become relevant again without the help of Noel, his ex-bandmate and, for [...]

  • The Vast of Night

    Toronto Film Review: 'The Vast of Night'

    It’s the first high school basketball game of the season and all of Cayuga, N.M., population 492, is cheering on the Statesmen at the gym. Except for the town’s two brightest kids, Everett (Jake Horowitz) and Fay (Sierra McCormick), who are strolling through the empty darkness to their respective jobs as a radio DJ and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content