Alex Proyas’ Paradise Lost will be filmed and produced in Sydney with major effects house Digital Domain also set to open a local office to support the big-budget sci-fi epic.

Proyas’ plans to shoot the film in Australia were first reported by IF Magazine in April.

Acting NSW premier and minister for trade and investment Andrew Stoner and Proyas confirmed that the film would be made in Sydney at an announcement at Fox Studios Australia today.

The government said that Paradise Lost, which is based on John Milton’s poem and will star Bradley Cooper, is expected to produce an estimated $88 million in local expenditure and an estimated 1300 local jobs. The visual effects area will account for $20 million of that expenditure and over 200 jobs.

“With fierce competition from rival locations in the United States and Canada, there is no doubt securing Paradise Lost is a major win for the NSW film industry,” Stoner said in a statement.

“When in Los Angeles recently, I met the team at Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures and encouraged them to produce Paradise Lost in Sydney. The NSW Government was determined to secure the production of Paradise Lost for the NSW film industry."

Paradise Lost will spend more than 20 weeks in pre-production, followed by eight weeks of principal photography and motion capture, and 72 weeks of post-production and visual effects work. While the Federal Government recently doubled the subsidy for effects and post work to 30 per cent, the production is instead expected to qualify for the 40 per cent Producer Offset.

“To filmmakers and producers around the world, I say NSW is open for business once more – we are determined to make NSW number one again. Paradise Lost will see the next generation of post-Avatar motion capture work undertaken right here in Sydney.”

The NSW government again failed to reveal what subsidies it has provided the production to film in Sydney, or the subsidies it has provided to lure California-based Digital Domain to Sydney.

The final agreement will be negotiated between Triune Productions Pty. Ltd. and the Department of Trade and Investment.

Digital Domain is attempting a $US115 million public float to fund its plans to produce live-action and animated feature films, as well as expand its 3D and education business divisions. Last month, it announced plans to partner with Indian entertainment company Reliance MediaWorks to launch studios in Mumbai and London. The company was co-founded by director James Cameron (who is no longer part of the business) and has worked on films such as Titanic, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and TRON: Legacy.

Stoner said Digital Domain’s Sydney base will continue beyond the production of Paradise Lost.

The NSW government has previously provided a range of subsidies to underpin local company another local VFX house, Animal Logic, which is currently working in several projects, including the 3D feature Walking With Dinosaurs.

Proyas' last feature was filmed in Melbourne in 2008: the sci-fi thriller Knowing. His other films include I, Robot (2004), Dark City (1998), and The Crow (1994).

“I’m delighted to have found such overwhelming support here in NSW for such a unique film offering unparalleled exposure for NSW cast and crew to the cutting-edge technology that will be used in the making of Paradise Lost,” Proyas said in a statement.

Alex Proyas (left) and Andrew Stoner.

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