Jason Momoa as ‘Aquaman’ (courtesy Warner Bros.).
James Wan will return home to Australia next year to direct Warner Bros Pictures’ Aquaman.
Yesterday the Turnbull Government announced a $22 million tax rebate to secure the DC superhero film. It is predicted to create 1000 jobs and inject over $150 million into the economy.
Aquaman will be shot at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast and on location in South East Queensland. Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones) will star in the title role alongside Amber Heard, William Dafoe and Patrick Wilson.
Executive producer Rob Cowan previously worked in Queensland on San Andreas.
Ausfilm CEO Debra Richards welcomed the government’s announcement, stating that attracting another major film to Australia would create a consistency of work for Australian crews.
“Such major productions provide investment into Australia’s screen production facilities and services, bring increased opportunities for skills and training, drive tourism visitation through filming of our unique locations and utilise Australian goods and services,” said Richards.
In 2015-16, foreign location spending in Australia was recorded at $273 million. Foreign post, digital and visual effects (PDV) spend is at a record-high of $105 million.
In 2016, Australia has hosted international productions including Kong: Skull Island, Thor: Ragnarok, Alien:Covenant, HBO television series The Leftovers, Bleeding Steel, Australia-China co-productions Dogfight and Nest; and Pacific Rim: Maelstrom.
International productions that completed or are completing visual effects and post-production in Australia include The LEGO Batman Movie, LEGO Ninjago, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, Dr Strange, X-Men: Apocalypse, Deadpool, two episodes of Game of Thrones season 6, Ghostbusters, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.
“Ausfilm continues to advocate for a permanent increase to the Location Offset to ensure Australia remains internationally competitive,” said Richards.
“The international film industry is highly competitive and without compelling federal and state screen incentives these films would not have considered Australia as a production destination.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palazczuk has also called for the Location Offset to be increased.
“Australia doesn’t have a competitive tax system. The one-off increases to the Federal Location Tax Offset from 16.5 per cent to 30 per cent must become permanent,” Palazczuk said.
Palazczuk said in a statement that she had personally negotiated with Warner Bros representatives to secure the shoot in Queensland. Treasurer Scott Morrison dismissed the Premier’s comments, telling AAP: “Well I’ll send her the bill then.”
Aquaman is scheduled for release worldwide in 2018.