Joe Utichi contributes to Deadline’s UK coverage:
A Paramount-branded theme park will be built in the Thames Estuary near London under plans unveiled today. The $3.2B plan for the Swanscombe Peninsula, less than 30 minutes from the capital, will create 27,000 jobs and regenerate the 872-acre site, a former cement works which is twice the size of the nearby Olympic Park. Speaking to Deadline, a source familiar with the deal said it was the latest in a series of licensing arrangements Paramount has engaged in. They include a similar Paramount park in Spain, and a Star Trek-themed resort in Jordan. “This is not an investment situation and Paramount is not developing the project in a true sense,” the source said. “Paramount’s partners will lead the way, and the company will consult on their plans.” The deal includes Paramount’s highly valuable movie properties. Rides and attractions are likely to be themed around IPs like Star Trek, Mission: Impossible and Transformers, though the form they will take has yet to be set in stone. The company was “going through the creative process of arriving at the most compelling attractions”. Read More »
It’s the first Disney theme park to be built in mainland China. Friday’s announcement from The Walt Disney Company and Shanghai Shendi Group, its joint venture partner in China, marked the start of construction at a groundbreaking ceremony held earlier in the day. It featured traditional Chinese drum music, a female soloist singing in Mandarin, a 50-voice Shanghai children’s choir, and Mickey Mouse dressed in a traditional Chinese costume. Following the entertainment and remarks, Walt Disney Co President/CEO Bob Iger and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs were joined by Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng and Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng to officially break ground on the project. It follows approval from the Chinese central government in Beijing. Read More »
A Walt Disney theme park and resort project in Shanghai that has been in the planning stages since the late 1990s looks like it’s finally received a green light. The Wall Street Journal reported today that invitations went out over the weekend to a “special event in Shanghai” set for Friday, which would be a groundbreaking ceremony that Disney CEO Bob Iger is expected to attend. As designed, the park would be 963 acres and feature two hotels, shops and restaurants, and a lake. During Disney’s recent shareholders meeting in Salt Lake City, Parks and Resorts boss Tom Staggs said the park would take five years to finish. The total cost has not been disclosed, but Disney is expected to be a minority stakeholder. It would be the sixth Disney theme park and resort and the first in mainland China (Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005).