Paramount’s ‘Dora the Explorer’ confirmed for Queensland shoot as debate over Location Offset continues
Dora the Explorer (Håkan Dahlström via Flickr).
Paramount Pictures’ Dora the Explorer will shoot at Village Roadshow Studios in Queensland, it was confirmed on Sunday.
On Friday, it was announced that Treasurer Scott Morrison had refused to offer the production a cash grant to top up the Location Offset from the standard 16.5 per cent to 30 per cent, as it has done for projects like Aquaman, Alien: Covenant and Thor: Ragnarok. The Treasurer stated the Queensland government was “well placed to provide the necessary top-up grant” from the $20 million it had committed in 2017 to attract more productions.
Amid fears the production would be lost to Australia, the Queensland government stepped in over the weekend to provide the cash uplift.
Dora the Explorer will be a feature-length, live-action “update” of the Nickelodeon animated series, following a now teenage Dora as she explores the world with her cousin Diego. From the Paramount Players division of Paramount Pictures, the film will be directed by James Bobin (The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted, Alice Through the Looking Glass).
“We could not be more thrilled to be bringing Dora to Queensland and to be able to deliver Queensland for our film,” said Lee Rosenthal, president of physical production for Paramount Pictures.
“In Queensland, we are able to get outstanding crew, stages and a variety of jungle topography and city backdrops in essentially one place.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the decision to lure the production came down to creating jobs.
“This isn’t only for our film industry workers it’s for all the other businesses we know benefit from big productions in Queensland.
“Over the past three years my government has committed $30 million attracting movie makers to Queensland through our Production Attraction Fund, gaining more than $350 million of direct expenditure in ourstate.
“We will keep on pushing for screen jobs for our local crews and creatives and for productions that inject hundreds of millions of dollars into our economy and take our creative talent and our stunning Queensland locations, to screens around the world.”
The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) has argued that the fact the Queensland government has had to step in to secure Dora the Explorer only further highlights how internationally uncompetitive the Location Offset is, renewing its call for a permanent increase to 30 per cent.
The director of MEAA’s entertainment, crew & sport section Erin Madeley said production talent was heading overseas due to a lack of work.
The House of Representatives inquiry into the growth and sustainability of the screen industry recommended that the Location Offset be raised to 30 per cent. A permanent increase to the offset has been a longstanding argument of organisations such as Ausfilm.
Dora the Explorer is reported to begin production after the Commonwealth Games.