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Summit’s ‘Gods of Egypt’ Heads for Australia Shoot

HONG KONG – Summit Entertainment’s fantasy actioner “Gods of Egypt” to be directed by Alex Proyas (“I, Robot,” “The Crow”) is expected to shoot in Australia from next month. A union dispute remains to be resolved.

The decision to locate production in New South Wales was confirmed by Andrew Stoner, NSW’s deputy premier (pictured right, with Proyas, left). The state had been in competition with Victoria to host the production. It is expected that sets will be used at the Fox Studios in Sydney.

“Great news for NSW film industry with another Hollywood blockbuster, Gods of Egypt, coming to Sydney. 400 jobs & $75m boost to NSW economy,” Stoner said on Twitter.

The film is understood be promised finance from the NSW Trade & Investment’s State Investment Attraction Scheme. It will also be eligible for federal production rebates.

The film is be directed by Proyas, from a script written by Proyas, Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. Production is by Proyas’ Mystery Clock Cinema and Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road. Proyas’ business partner Topher Dow is executive producer. Summit will finance and parent company Lionsgate is expected to release the picture in North America.

Cast is headed by Gerald Butler, Nicolaj Coster-Waldau, Geoffrey Rush and Brenton Thwaites. Story is about a young thief who enlists the help of the ancient gods to bring his beloved back to life.

The Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance says it has filed an objection to the production with Australia’s Fair Work Commission. The union says that the film will adopt overtime, night working and travel time conditions that are unfair.

The union says that the picture is Australian enough to qualify for the 40% producer rebate, but is importing working conditions that are not standard in Australia.

Budget of “Gods” is reported to exceed $100 million.

In Feb 2012 Proyas’ big budget “Paradise Lost,” an adaptation of the John Milton poem, which had been set to shoot in NSW was cancelled. Backers Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. struggled to bring the budgets below $120 million.

NSW had promised to provide finance to “Paradise” in the expectation that it brought A$88 million of spin off benefits to the state. Its cancellation meant that VFX group Digital Domain shelved plans to open a facility in Sydney.

Stoner indicated that “Gods” will use NSW-based facilities for some of its effects and post-production work.

Proyas was born in Egypt, of Greek parents. The family relocated to Australia when he was 3 years old and Proyas attended the Australian Film Television & Radio School as a contemporary of Jane Campion and Jocelyn Moorhouse.

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