Australia apparently has it all: beautiful beaches, sapphire-blue seas… and a giant squid!
Ausfilm has announced today that the one-off $21.6m incentive that the Australian Government offered to lure in production of Walt Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea has borne fruit: Golden Globe-winning director David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network) seems to be warming up to the idea of shooting what could be the most expensive movie ever made in Australian waters.
“The announcement of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea to film in Australia will result in meaningful benefits for the industry and the economy; including jobs, skills and training, and investment back into the local industry,” said Debra Richards of Ausfilm. Even PM Julia Gillard was gearing for an official announcement, hailing it as a “huge coup for the Australian Film industry” in a statement.
Ever since the production of Superman Returns in 2006 and more recently The Wolverine – starring our own Hugh Jackman – Australia is bound to gather interest in Hollywood as a viable location to shoot blockbusters since the launch of a new Locations incentive.
The new incentive will see the 16.5% tax offset for foreign film productions rise to almost 30%, further tempting producers and directors to move their sets downunder.
Although the official green light has not been given on account of casting issues and a case of ‘hot potato’ between screen agencies in Queensland, NSW and Victoria, prospects are looking up. The casting rumor mill has the lead role in the film slated as going to either Brad Pitt or Channing Tatum.
As for watchability? Fincher knows his special effects; having served a stint on productions like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi during his time working at Industrial Light and Magic. Given his work with Alien 3, one can barely even begin to imagine what he could do with a giant squid on set!
Read the full announcement below:
Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Arts Minister Tony Burke today announced The Walt Disney Studios film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea will join a growing list of blockbuster productions filmed in Australia.
While casting decisions are still to be made and locations are yet to be finalised, the filming of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea will give Australian talent the opportunity to work with some of the best screen professionals in the business – both in front of the cameras and behind the scenes.
To attract the film to Australia, the Gillard Government will grant the producers a one-off payment of $21.6 million which will result in substantial new investment in Australia and could create up to 2,000 jobs.
On the back of the launch of Creative Australia, the new national cultural policy, the securing of this film is a huge coup for the Australian film industry and for the near 1,000 local businesses that will be providing goods and services for the film.
Through Creative Australia, the Gillard Government committed a further $20 million in new funding to attract international production to Australia and a commitment to increase the rate of the Location Offset should the Australian dollar remain high.
The announcement comes just after The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman, recently wrapped filming in Sydney. The Wolverine, which created over 1750 jobs and contracted more than 1027 Australian companies, generated $80 million of investment and has reaffirmed Australia’s status as one of the world’s best filming destinations.
It also demonstrates that Gillard Government investment in the arts to drive local and national economic growth works and reflects the strong and ongoing support for the local screen industry by the Gillard Government.