×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Mortal Engines’ to Receive 5% Bonus From New Zealand (EXCLUSIVE)

Universal Pictures’ “Mortal Engines” is to be given a 5% financial bonus by the New Zealand government.

The move, known as an uplift, is a discretionary grant, made only when a production can demonstrate significant and lasting economic benefit for the New Zealand industry. “Mortal Engines,” directed by local director Christian Rivers, was entirely shot in the country. Producers include Zane Weiner, Amanda Walker, Deborah Forte, Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson.

The “Mortal Engines” story takes place thousands of years after civilization was destroyed and in their place gigantic moving cities roam the earth. It features Robert Sheehan and Hera Hilmar as two opposites who form an unlikely alliance.

The decision to give the film a 5% uplift follows the signing of a contract between the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), Education New Zealand (ENZ) and film producers and financiers Universal Pictures, MRC and Hungry City. It entails a detailed marketing partnership with NZFC and ENZ to promote New Zealand’s screen and education interests.

New Zealand provides of the world’s most generous location incentive schemes and has succeeded in attracting major large-scale movies. International productions are eligible for a cash grant of 20% of qualifying New Zealand production expenditure. Movies using post production, digital and visual effects services can earn grants worth 20% worth of local expenditure up to US$17.5 million (NZ$25 million), and 18% above NZ$25 million.

“’Mortal Engines’ gives us the opportunity to profile the New Zealand screen industry on the world stage—including our talented pool of actors, experienced crew, and facilities. In doing so, this showcases that New Zealand can cater for large-scale, full-service productions,” said New Zealand Film Commission chief executive Dave Gibson.

Principal photography took place over 16 weeks in Wellington, New Zealand, shooting at Stone Street and Avalon Studios and a few small local exterior locations. Post-production is currently underway at Park Road Post Production with visual effects work ongoing at Weta Digital, ahead of a worldwide release in December 2018.

More than 1,000 New Zealanders, including crew, cast and craftspeople, were contracted during principal photography. Nearly all heads of departments and 98% of the crew were local. New Zealanders also feature heavily in front of the camera, with more than 70% of the 50 speaking roles going to New Zealanders.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Renee Zellweger Rufus Wainwright Sam Smith

    Renée Zellweger: Judy Garland Was 'My Childhood Hero'

    Awards buzz is building around Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland, emerging as a frontrunner in the Oscar race for best actress. But for her, the real prize was paying tribute to Garland, of whom she’s been a lifelong fan. “Nobody was prettier, nobody sang prettier…the adventures she had, [she was] my childhood [...]

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

  • 'Downton Abbey' Music Gets 'Bigger, Better,

    As 'Downton Abbey' Hits the Silver Screen, the Music, Too, Gets 'Bigger, Better, Grander'

    When “Downton Abbey” fans hear that familiar strings-and-piano theme, a Pavlovian response ensues: Get to the television immediately, because you don’t want to miss a minute of the addictive Crawley family melodrama to follow. This week, with the “Downton Abbey” movie reaching theaters on Friday, fans can’t wait for their fix of Lady Mary and [...]

  • 45 Seconds of Laughter

    Film Review: '45 Seconds of Laughter'

    “Everyone is worth more than their worst act,” said Roman Catholic sister and anti-death penalty advocate Helen Prejean, and it’s with these words that “45 Seconds of Laughter” closes. It’s an apt sentiment on which to leave Tim Robbins’ sincerely felt documentary study of the therapeutic acting workshops run by his own theater company in [...]

  • Julie Andrews

    Julie Andrews Selected for AFI's Life Achievement Award

    The American Film Institute Board of Trustees has selected Julie Andrews as the recipient of the 48th AFI Life Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Andrews on April 25 in Los Angeles. The ceremony will be telecast on TNT. “Julie Andrews is practically perfect in every way,” said Kathleen Kennedy, chair of the [...]

  • 4127_D001_00007_RC Phyllis Logan stars as Mrs.

    'Downton Abbey' to Dominate Box Office Weekend With $30 Million

    The feature film version of “Downton Abbey” is heading for an impressive $30 million opening weekend at 3,079 sites for an easy victory at the North American box office, early estimates showed Friday. The launch of Brad Pitt’s space drama “Ad Astra” will land in second with about $20 million, while Sylvester Stallone’s action-thriller “Rambo: [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content