Regular readers may remember our positive media sector story published earlier in the year, which highlighted a recent growth in the creative industry.
Research had revealed a boom in both TV and film production in the UK, with the introduction of a 25% tax-break for film-makers outside the UK – an initiative that was said by Ian Dunleavy, chief executive of Pinewood Group plc. to be “a great success story”.
Now figures from BFI confirm that spending on feature film production in the UK really is enjoying a record high, with a total of £652m reported for January, February and March alone. £620m of this figure is associated with inward investment and co-production.
During the same period, 17 high-end TV drama projects were launched, totalling £145m and the last 12 months of overall high-end TV production stands at £830m.
So, how do things look ahead? With a little help from online media directory, The Knowledge, and their Production Intelligence information resource, we can update you on some of the films that are due to start production in the UK over the summer:
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Part 2
There are rumoured to be five Harry Potter spin-off films planned, that follow the adventures of Newt Scamander. Part 2 will begin filming in the UK and Paris in August, with Johnny Depp playing Gellert Grindelwald – a dark wizard.
Due for release in 2018, this crime drama stars Clive Owen as an ex-convict who intentionally goes back to a maximum security prison – working undercover to bring down the mob.
Disney seems to have made the UK it’s second home, with films like Star Wars: Episode IX, Tim Burton’s Dumbo and Mary Poppins Returns already in pre-production here. This summer will see Guy Ritchie join them for his ‘reboot’ of the story of Aladdin, word is that Will Smith will play the genie.
Another offering from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, this time under their own film and production banner Stolen Picture. The pair recently said of their new comedy-horror film, due to start filming summer 2017:
“The story’s hero, Don Wallace, is a wide-eyed new boy from a modest background forced to navigate a baffling new world of arcane rules and rituals, presided by sadistic sixth formers…This ancient and ordered world is about to be shaken to its foundations – literally – and when a controversial frack site on prize school woodland causes seismic tremors, a mysterious sinkhole and an unspeakable horror is unleashed. Soon a new pecking order will be established as pupils, teachers and the school matron become locked in a bloody battle for survival.”
Closer to home…
Fighting with my Family
Fighting with my Family is a movie from Dwayne Johnson’s production company. It has been written and directed by Stephen Merchant and began shooting at the beginning of the year. Fighting with my Family is the story of local wrestling family, the Knights. It focuses on Paige’s journey to becoming a WWE champion and since the Knights wrestle in televised shows at Epic studios on a regular basis, we are looking forward to the launch and will share news as it comes in!
For info on other upcoming UK film production (including Johnny English 3, The Pre-Nup, The Universe Versus Alex Woods and The Little Stranger) visit The Knowledge.
For more on films previously made in the Norfolk area, take a look at our Location Filming pages.