Disney to film Pete’s Dragon fantasy remake at Stone Street Studios in New Zealand
Disney will film a remake of its 1977 fantasy Pete’s Dragon on location in New Zealand. Production will be based at Stone Street Studios in Wellington – home to the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies – and the project will also shoot on location across the country.
“The New Zealand aesthetic beautifully matches what the screenplay requires, and we're grateful to receive such tremendous support from the filmmaking community and industry in this country,” said producer Jim Whitaker.
Added Film New Zealand head Gisella Carr: “During the past two years we've been in discussion with the Studio (Disney) about returning to New Zealand and it's great to see the combination of New Zealand's favourable screen incentives, locations and skill base have enabled such a high-profile production to come here.”
New Zealand boosted its formal filming incentive programme earlier this year to 20% of local expenditure for international productions, with an additional 5% available for projects that “demonstrate significant economic benefits to New Zealand”. The improvement immediately helped secure James Cameron’s Avatar sequels, a production that was dependent on a more generous filming incentive.
Pete’s Dragon marks an expansion of Disney’s investment in Australasian filming locations. The studio has committed to a Queensland shoot for Pirates of the Caribbean 5, which will be the largest production the country has ever hosted. Filming for Pete’s Dragon will help bolster New Zealand’s international profile and increase confidence in the country’s new incentive.
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