Creating A New UK Centre Of Production?
♦ Netflix already has a London office but a report in Variety a few days ago speculates that the company is in discussion with Pinewood Studios. Here’s a few potential details of a possible deal between the two…
Netflix is in “advanced talks” with Pinewood Studios about setting up a U.K. production base at the iconic facility, according to a report two Fridays ago by the Financial Times.
The newspaper said that the U.S. streamer is in negotiations to take out a “long lease” at Pinewood, where “Star Wars” and James Bond films, among other blockbusters, have been shot.
Pinewood did not immediately respond to a request from Variety for comment. Netflix said it had no comment on the report.
With a generous government tax break and good infrastructure, production is booming in Britain and studio space in short supply. New space is in development at Shepperton Studios, and at sites in the northern city of Liverpool and in East London. Last week, gaming firm Rebellion, which is moving into film and TV, said it was about to open a new 200,000-square-foot facility near Oxford.
Netflix is in international expansion mode, unveiling new European series in London this week and committing to upping its European output by a third in 2019. It announced earlier this year that it was setting up a massive European production hub in Madrid. It has also opened a fully staffed Paris office and is moving to new digs in London, with several newly hired programming execs to be based there.
A long-term commitment to Pinewood would be a strong sign of the company’s commitment to increase international programming. Its boasts about 40 U.K. originals, including series such as “Black Mirror” and other finished and developing projects.
Private-equity group Aermont owns the Pinewood Group and is expanding its studio business. It recently bought 100 acres of land next to Shepperton Studios, which is part of the group, to enlarge facilities there. Pinewood Studios itself has been adding sound stages and other facilities.