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UK Film Industry Busy as Hollywood Moves In

You could be forgiven for thinking that Hollywood will be empty over the coming months, with several massive, big-budget American films using UK studios, locations and crew.

It may come as no great surprise following the news earlier this year that London has grown to become the third busiest filmmaking city in the world after LA and New York. Since the introduction of the UK tax relief scheme in 2007, the UK film industry has witnessed a growth of 75%. Around £150 tax credit was allocated during 2010-2011.



Here, in no particular order, we bring you a round-up of some of the projects that will be boosting the UK film industry over the next six months or so.

Production on one of the most talked-about films, Star Wars: Episode VII is due to be up and running in early 2014 with J.J. Abrams at the helm. The film is the latest in the hugely successful franchise, and comes from Lucasfilm, now owned by Disney. Although studios have yet to be confirmed, it is likely that Pinewood will be in the frame.

Disney is also working on its own big screen adaptation of Cinderella, due to shoot in the autumn at Pinewood Studios. Sir Kenneth Branagh is in the director’s chair for this one.

Similarly, another giant of US cinema, Marvel, is settling into its temporary UK home. Guardians of the Galaxy has been in pre-production for some time, with shooting starting up in late June. The James Gunn-directed feature is using Pinewood, Shepperton and Longcross Studios.

The other Marvel project currently gearing up is The Avengers 2. Lensing is due to begin in early 2014 at Shepperton and Pinewood, with Joss Whedon directing from his own screenplay.

An autumn shoot is slated for the much-anticipated big screen version of the successful 1960s TV series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The project comes from Warner Bros., and will be housed at the industry giant’s studio at Leavesden – the only Hollywood company with a permanent base in the UK. Guy Ritchie will direct.  

Also from Warner is Ron Howard’s maritime disaster movie, In the Heart of the Sea, now set up at Leavesden and eyeing an autumn start. The film recounts the true life story of American whaling ship The Essex, and how it was destroyed by a whale in 1820.  

Twentieth Century Fox are developing Exodus, the biblical epic to be directed by Sir Ridley Scott. The story of Moses is slated to start filming towards the end of this year at Pinewood Studios.

Across the water, Northern Ireland is hosting a Hollywood version of Dracula, starring Luke Evans and Sarah Gadon. Gary Shore directs this latest incarnation of the vampire legend, which comes from Michael De Luca Productions and Universal Pictures.

As you can see, it’s an exciting time for filmmaking in the UK with this burgeoning slate of films adding to the industry buzz.