Much of the principal photography will take place at Auckland Film Studios in New Zealand, with some two weeks shoot in China.
Shooting a large budget film in New Zealand unlocks substantial production incentives. Under new rules introduced at the beginning of this month, called the New Zealand Screen Production Grant, feature films which spend more than NZ$15 million (US$12.8 million) in the country can receive a rebate of 20% of local expenditure. Under previous rules the rebate was worth 15%.
Producers had given serious consideration to filming at the new Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia studios, but the studios are occupied until the end of the year by the TWC-produced “Marco Polo” TV series for Netflix.
New Zealand’s Iron Knight Productions is expected to co-produce.
Scripted by John Fusco, “The Green Destiny” is a prequel to the Ang Lee-directed film and draws on several of the same series of books by Wang Dulu that the first film also used as source material.
The script has already received co-production approval from Chinese regulators.
The previous film grossed $128 million in North America and $247 million worldwide.