Narnia Blockbuster Confirmed For NZ

19 December 2003

After almost a year of negotiations New Zealand has secured the multimillion-dollar Hollywood movie The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Work on the film begins next month in Auckland.

Confirmation of the movie, to be directed by Kiwi Oscar-winner Andrew Adamson, comes after almost a year of negotiations between central and local governments, Henderson Studios and American producer Walden Media.

No budget details were available. However, the Los Angeles Times reported in July that it would cost about US$175 million (NZ$300 million).

Under the Government’s Large Budget Screen Production Grant scheme, the film-makers could claim $37.5 million, or 12.5 per cent, back.

Industry Development Minister Jim Anderton said the news was a vote of confidence in New Zealand as a location for film and screen production.

The production would be based in Auckland with location shooting in the South Island. It is understood the Hobsonville airbase in west Auckland would be used in filming, as well as a section of land behind it as a back lot. Henderson Studios would also be used.

Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey said last night that confirmation of the production coming to his region was “the greatest Christmas present this city will ever have”.

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