Tax Breaks for Film Producers Lure 'Star Wars' to United Kingdomby
It was recently announced that Walt Disney Company–owned Lucasfilm Ltd. is planning to shoot and produce the next Star Wars movie in the United Kingdom. Chancellor George Osborne said the announcement is "clear evidence" the country's film tax incentives are working.
It's thought the production will be eligible for tax relief, which could include film tax relief for films that have a minimum of 25 percent of production costs spent in the United Kingdom and pass a "cultural test."
In 2012, the government announced a further raft of tax breaks, including video game relief, which is currently under investigation by the European Commission.
Star Wars Episode VII is set to be released in 2015 and will be directed by J.J. Abrams, who also produced the recent Star Trek: Into Darkness and Mission: Impossible 5.
Six previous films have been produced in UK studios, including in Elstree, Shepperton, Leavesden, Ealing, and Pinewood.
In an official statement on the Star Wars website, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said she was "thrilled" the film was returning to the United Kingdom.
"We've devoted some serious time and attention to revisiting the origins of Star Wars as inspiration for our process on the new movie", she said. "Speaking from my own longstanding connection to the UK with films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Empire of the Sun, and War Horse, it's very exciting to be back."
The chancellor, whose favorite character is apparently Han Solo, appeared to be very excited about the prospect, announcing the production at a meeting of the G7 group of industrialized nations.
"I think it is a real vote of confidence in Britain's creative industries and a big movie like that, one of the most famous, perhaps the most famous movie franchise in the world, brings with it not just jobs for actors and directors and so on, but for all the other people who have put together an enormous movie."
He couldn't contain his enthusiasm, however, as he later took to Twitter to say: "Just confirmed: The next Star Wars film will be made in UK. Great news for our creative industries. May the force be with us."
Source: This article originally appeared on our sister site in the United Kingdom.