Woody Woodpecker has flown into Victoria, with the state housing production on the sequel to the 2017 family film.
From Universal 1440 Entertainment, a production arm of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, the next chapter in the Woody Woodpecker movie franchise is a CGI animated and live-action hybrid production that brings back the titular character’s signature laugh, wacky antics, and wisecracks.
The project has received a $2.7 million grant via the Federal Government’s Location Incentive Program with the expectation it will inject than $20 million into the Australian economy and provide employment for more than 700 Australian cast and crew, and more than 300 Australian extras.
Filming is underway in Melbourne and across regional areas of Victoria, with the production also funded by the Victorian Government via Film Victoria’s Victorian Screen Incentive.
Universal 1440 Entertainment general manager and executive vice president Glenn Ross said they were thrilled to bring the next chapter of the franchise to Australia.
“Australia has great locations, skilled crews, world-class talent, and state-of-the-art facilities,” he said.
The announcement comes after lockdown restrictions were lifted in regional Victoria last Thursday, excluding Greater Shepparton.
In metropolitan Melbourne, where restrictions remain, some screen production activity is permitted under strict COVID-Safe conditions.
Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said the production would provide significant training opportunities for aspiring Aussie directors, technical crew, and post-production and visual effects professionals.
“Australia’s rising industry talent will gain invaluable experience on this CGI animated and live-action hybrid production, elevating the local sector and helping to grow and enhance our screen industry,” he said.
To date, the Morrison Government has distributed more than $246 million under the Location Incentive program to attract 25 international productions to Australia, including, including NBCUniversal drama La Brea, Ticket to Paradise, season two of The Wilds, Australian Survivor, The Tourist, Thirteen Lives, Escape From Spiderhead, Pieces of Her, Blacklight, Irreverent, Joe Exotic, and Young Rock.