LONDON — U.K. production facilities group Pinewood Shepperton has inked a consultancy pact with the Dalian Wanda Group to advise on the design and construction of a film and television studio complex in China.
Opening in 2016, the film studio will form part of the RMB 30 billion ($4.9 billion) Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis, located west of Qingdao, Shandong, China. The film studio will cover a 200 hectare area and comprise sound stages, workshops, a post-production area and themed backlots. Once completed, it will be one of China’s largest film and TV studio facilities.
The launch of the project last year was attended by Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and John Travolta, among others, as well as senior U.S. execs, including Weinstein Co. chairman Harvey Weinstein, and Lionsgate motion picture bosses Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger.
Wang Jianlin, Wanda chairman, said: “Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis will be the most advanced movie studio with the largest investment of the world. Wanda has invited the best companies and talents of the world to develop this project. I believe that with its opening in 2016, it will become one of the major centers of the movie industry in the world.”
Wanda, which paid $2.6 billion to acquire U.S. movie theater chain AMC in 2012, has a property portfolio in China that includes 85 Wanda Plazas, 54 hotels, 6,200 movie screens, 75 department stores and 81 karaoke centers. In 2013, the company had 380 billion yuan ($62.8 billion) in assets.
Wang was named by Forbes magazine last year as China’s richest man with an estimated fortune of $16 billion.
Ivan Dunleavy, Pinewood CEO, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Wanda on the design of the visionary Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis project, which we hope will be another successful step in our growing relationship with the Chinese film industry.”