The announcement was made by Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop in Canberra, the Australian capital, on Thursday.
The government will provide a combined US$34 million (A$47 million) to attract the two productions. Bishop said that they will return some US$217 million (A$300 million) to the Australian economy and create some 3,000 jobs.
“Attracting major films made here will be a significant boost for our economy, for our industrial base, and for linking Australia in innumerable ways to our ever-globalizing world,” Bishop said.
Starring Australia’s Chris Hemsworth, “Thor: Ragnarok” is the third film in Marvel’s “Thor” franchise and is set to be released in 2017. New Zealander Taika Waititi was recently in negotiations to direct.
In a video message, Hemsworth said he was “incredibly excited to be coming back home to work.”
Ridley Scott, hot off “The Martian,” will direct the “Alien” movie, which is the sixth in that sequence. He too sent a video message and praised Australian crews and locations.
Communications minister Mitch Fifield said that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had taken an interest in negotiations with the Hollywood studios.
Bishop said that she had recently met delegations of Hollywood production executives. “They specifically spoke about the value in Australia as a filming destination, the quality and variety of our locations, but more importantly our highly qualified and talented workforce, our embrace of innovative technology, our stable economy, our dollar,” she said.
The Australian dollar has dropped more than 30% against the U.S. currency in the past 30 months, helping to make the well-equipped and English-speaking Australia an attractive alternative to shoots in North America. Scott indicated that the “Alien” movie had been weighing up shooting instead in Canada.
The locations of the shoots were not specified.