Russell Crowe has announced plans to back a new film studio in Australia’s Coffs Harbour, situated on the country’s New South Wales Mid North Coast. The state-of-the-art facility, with an estimated value of $438M, will be constructed on a sprawling pre-existing Pacific Bay resort complex and will integrate production, post-production and accommodation and amenities.
Crowe, who lives in the coastal city situated between Sydney and the Gold Coast, will back the project with partners including Pacific Bay resort owner Peter Montgomery and film production Keith Rodger.
“The opportunity to build a facility like this spreads opportunity through the community by creating jobs, but not just jobs: actual professions and careers,” Crowe said at a press conference on Wednesday. “For a number of years I’ve been thinking how I might be able to combine where I live and my work.”
Australia has become an increasingly attractive location for Hollywood and international productions, in part thanks to lucrative tax incentives, but also due to the fact it’s been relatively Covid-free thanks to the government’s swift and stringent response to the virus. Last year there was a 215% increase in enquiries from May to September compared to the same period in 2019 and major projects such as Marvel’s Thor Love and Thunder, George Miller’s Three Thousand Years Of Longing, Ron Howard’s Thirteen Lives and Netflix’s sci-fi Escape From Spiderhead have all recently filmed Down Under.
Hulu’s anticipated tentpole limied series Nine Perfect Strangers pivoted completely. It was scheduled to lense in L.A. but when the pandemic hit, the Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy starrer moved the shoot to New South Wales.