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UK Production Spend Up Sharply For 2013; Hollywood & Intl Pics Contribute $1.43B

ukflagBig figures released today by the British Film Institute are strong proof of the increased taste for the UK as a filming destination. And, with the government keen to reap the benefits to the British economy, the numbers could help get Pinewood‘s twice-rejected expansion plans over the goal line. According to the BFI, overall spend generated by the UK film production sector was up 14% in 2013 to £1.075B ($1.77B). Of that total, £868M ($1.43B) came from 37 international (mostly Hollywood) movies that made the UK their production base. Some of those included The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Heart Of The Sea and Jupiter Ascending, which all shot at Warner Bros’ Leavesden Studios; along with Disney’s Muppets Most cinderellaWanted, Cinderella and Into The Woods, which shot at Pinewood. Among other titles were: Fox’s Exodus and Frankenstein, Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, Sony and Fox’s The Monuments Men and Studiocanal’s Paddington. Gearing up this year are the next Star Wars installment, Bond 24, The Avengers: Age Of Ultron and, as expected, Alice In Wonderland sequel Through The Looking Glass.

Related: Year-End: UK Tax Breaks Too Much Of A Good Thing?

live another dayIn addition to the inward investment provided by the movie business, the UK this year launched a high-end TV tax relief which helped entice Fox’s event series 24: Live Another Day and ABC pilot Galavant. Statistics for the incentive in 2013 only cover nine months since it was established in April. The BFI says that during the period, more than £276M of investment was made in domestic UK productions and international series including Game Of Thrones, Outlander, Da Vinci’s Demons and Elementary. Read More »

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Disney Titles ‘Alice In Wonderland’ Sequel; Sacha Baron Cohen Circling Role

Sacha Baron CohenThe sequel to Tim Burton’s billion-dollar 2010 pic will be called Through The Looking Glass, and Sacha Baron Cohen is in early talks to star. Disney‘s new film, directed by The Muppets helmer James Bobin and set for release May 27, 2016, returns Mia Wasikowska as Alice and Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter. It would be a reunion for Baron Cohen and Depp, who starred together in Burton’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of alice-in-wonderland-oscar-269x400__120714002206-200x297Fleet Street. The Bruno and Borat star’s recent credits include Les Miserables, The Dictator and a voice role in Madagascar 3. In November, he signed a first-look deal with FXP, and FXX ordered Ali G: Rezurection, which features his breakout Ali G character. A week later, he stole the show at the BAFTA/LA Britannia Awards when he came to the podium to accept a career award and “inadvertently” pushed an elderly wheelchair-bound woman off the stage. Or not.

Related: Sacha Baron Cohen Exits Freddie Mercury Biopic

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