You might remember that director Taika Waititi had shot Thor: Ragnarok in Australia and it sounds like there is a chance the studio is returning to the land down under in the very near future.

A report from the SydneyMorningHerald claims to have local government officials announcing that an untitled Marvel Studios movie has secured $24 million (not sure if these are Australian or American dollars) and is expected to film at the massive Fox Studios Australia facility in Syndey, New South Wales, Australia. Bringing over $150 million of international investment to the country.

Federal arts minister Mitch Fifield confirmed on Wednesday that an untitled Marvel Studios feature film would shoot at Fox Studios and other locations, with $24 million in one-off funding.

“Securing this latest production will bring over $150 million of new international investment, create 4700 new Australian jobs and use the services of around 1200 local businesses,” he said.

State arts minister Don Harwin said the $10 million Made in NSW fund that was launched last year was also backing “the first Marvel Studios movie to be based in NSW”.

“The film needs a large workforce of highly specialized special effects technicians and will also require sophisticated stunts, all of which NSW’s incredibly skilled and experienced screen industry can deliver,” he said.

The studio space has been the home to a lot of big film productions including The Matrix (including the sequels), The Wolverine, Star Wars: Attack of The Clones, Star Wars: Revenge of The Sith, Alien: Covenant, and Mad Max: Fury Road. It was also home to the science fiction series Farscape.

Thor: Ragnarok was shot at Village Roadshow Studios in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and this would indeed make this the first Marvel Studios film shot in New South Wales.

One issue is that they don’t say when it could begin filming, which makes it tricky to nail down what project it could be. They seem to be taking guesses what the production could be but Black Widow and The Eternals are for the moment confirmed for main London shoots.

They do make an assumption it could be the upcoming Shang-Chi movie, but that just doesn’t seem ready to go anytime soon as they only just hired the director Destin Daniel Cretton and would likely need many months of pre-production with him before anything begins filming.

It is believed to be Shang-Chi, the studio’s first superhero movie featuring an Asian protagonist.

Centering on a martial arts master, the film has been fast-tracked since the phenomenal success of Black Panther – worldwide box office takings of $US1.3 billion and three Oscars – showed the value of superhero movies featuring racially diverse characters.

Shang-Chi would make sense with Australia’s proximity to popular potential Asian filming locations such as South Korea (a location used for Avengers: Age of Ultron and Black Panther), Japan, or even Hong Kong. Fox Studios and the surrounding area did double for Japan in James Mangold’s The Wolverine as filming in Japan for foreign productions is increasingly one of the more expensive places to film and they ended up only filming small portions in Japan because of the costs involved.

Other films that are in the works include Black Panther 2 and Doctor Strange 2 that were originally reported to begin production in 2020 that could also need large stages as Marvel slowly seems to be moving production out of Atlanta, Georgia and London becoming increasingly busier moving productions to Australia might be the way to go.

Guardians of The Galaxy 3 is likely not in the running because of James Gunn’s commitments to The Suicide Squad, that starts filming this fall and this seems to be a movie that could end up filming within the next year or so.

Australia is actually a place where Marvel Studios and Disney should be investing in their future films, so I’m excited to see what the film ultimately could be and what other projects they’ll bring over there.


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