The move is promoted by producer James Vernon, who positions it as a means to service the growth in demand for new content now that the Disney-owned Fox Studios are largely occupied with Marvel business.
“With Sydney’s Fox studios being so heavily booked, its rendered Sydney without a full-service film studio,” Vernon told Variety. And while Sydney currently remains in a strict lockdown due to the spread of the Delta variant, Vernon says that Sydney studio space is still in high demand.
“We’ve spoken to many studios and streamers and they are not thinking of the current situation, but of the future. Sydney still stands as one of the best places to come and film.”
The site which was used for numerous scenes in 2015’s “Mad Max Fury Road” is expected to open for business in 2023. To be developed in three phases, the site may eventually feature ten sound stages of various sizes aimed at attracting large-scale international productions, as well as catering for the Australian local market.
The largest stage with a floor area of 48,000sqft (4,500sqm) may claim to be the largest sound stage in the Southern Hemisphere.
Set in 96 acres (39 hectares), the site will also contain a five-star hotel, a golf course and helipad, and backlots that include a private lake for water shooting options. It will also house a business park and an academy for up to 200 film students.
The western part of Sydney is a thriving development and future tourism hub. It is also the location of the second Sydney international airport currently due to start operations in 2026.
Vernon, as MD, is an industry veteran whose credits include executive producer roles on “Hacksaw Ridge,” and Pierce Brosnan-starring “The Kings Daughter.” His daughter and fellow producer Kristy Vernon (“Gabriel,” “Sweet River,” “Rising Wolf”) will be director of studio operations. Former Warner Bros. International president Wayne Duband serves as an international consultant.