Production on local sci-fi film Paradise Lost has been put on hold after a budgetary dispute between director Alex Proyas and production company Legendary Pictures.
It represents a major blow to the local industry with the $100 million-plus film expected to create 1300 jobs in NSW although VFX-house Digital Domain is still setting up an Australian VFX base. The company, which has worked on VFX-heavy films such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and TRON: Legacy, is also working on several other local film projects.
A spokesperson for the deputy New South Wales premier and minister for trade and investment, Andrew Stoner, said the government had been made aware of a likely delay to the start of production.
"We understand that Legendary Pictures remains committed to making the film in Sydney," the spokesperson said.
Earlier this year, the government made an undisclosed financial committment to the film's production company, Triune Productions, to secure the production for NSW.
Proyas has not yet responded to queries from IF magazine but another source has also confirmed the delay, which was first reported by Deadline.com.
Deadline reported that Legendary is aiming to rework the budget after it has passed the $US120 million mark by 10-15 per cent. Plans are reportedly being made to shoot the film, inspired by John Milton’s epic 17th Century poem about heaven and hell, around May-June instead.
The film will star Bradley Cooper as Lucifer and Benjamin Walker as archangel Michael. The cast also includes local actor Callan McAuliffe (I Am Number Four).
Alex Proyas (left) and Andrew Stoner pictured in July when Paradise Lost was officially announced.