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Australia Agrees to Funding for Disney’s ‘Pirates 5’

HONG KONG – Australia’s federal government has agreed to provide some US$20.2 million( A$21.6 million) of financial incentives in order to attract Disney’s upcoming “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” to shoot in the country.

The agreement was announced by federal arts minister George Brandis.

Disney had previously received agreement for federal government funding of “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea,” but that project was shelved when director David Fincher dropped out.

Disney sought to have the funding promise re-allocated to the new film and topped up to a figure equal to 30% of its Australian budget.

“The government is pleased to agree to Disney’s request to enable earlier funding to be repurposed for the production of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’,” said Brandis in a statement. “Any decision to film productions in Australia (such as ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ or ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’) is a commercial matter for Disney.”

The Brandis commitment falls short of the figure Disney is seeking, but it remains possible that Australian state governments will provide further cash in order to bring the production to regional locations and studios.

The studio is believed to be weighing up alternative locations including those in Mexico with water tanks where “Titanic” was filmed.

The state government in Queensland – home to the Village Roadshow Studios, located at Gold Coast – has said that it has ‘”done all that it can” to attract the production. And Australian craft union MEAA has endorsed an agreement in principle for “Pirates 5.”

Production would be expected to begin in early 2015, for a release of the completed picture in 2017.

Many in the Australian industry hope that the country’s production rebate systems will be raised to 30% for all inbound productions.

The country has regularly been a preferred overseas location for major Hollywood movie shoots, but currency movements and growing financial competition from other locations has slowed the inflow in the last couple of years. That competition was made keener only last week when California agreed to increase its incentives.

Dwayne Johnson-starring “San Andreas” recently shot in Australia.

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