'Coming to America' Sequel, 'Scarface' Remake Score California Tax Credits

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'Coming to America' (1988)

The latest round of feature films to qualify include a new, untitled Jordan Peele project and a 'Deadwood' movie spinoff.

A Coming to America sequel, which director Jonathan Levine and Black-ish creator and writer Kenya Barris are working on for Eddie Murphy, and Ford v. Ferrari, a racing car movie that director James Mangold is developing, are among nine new film projects that have been selected for a total of $55.5 million in tax credits under California’s Film and TV Credit Program 2.0.

The two projects are both considered big-budget movies that the California Film Commission has made a special effort to keep in the state. Fox’s Ford v. Ferrari — which is planning 67 shooting days in the state, with locations in Kern, Orange, Santa Rosa and San Bernardino counties doubling for locales including Florida, Michigan, England and France — is on track to spend more than $78 million in California on qualified expenditures (defined as wages to below-the-line workers and payments for equipment/vendors). Paramount’s Coming to America sequel is proposing to spend $64.6 million in-state on qualified expenditures.

The latest list, the third and final film round for fiscal year-three of Program 2.0, includes five other studio films and two indies, with Universal’s Scarface remake, HBO’s Deadwood feature film spinoff from the series of the same name and an untitled feature from Get Out’s Jordan Peele among them.

A total of 39 film projects applied for the current round of tax credits during the March 7-13 application period.

With two new big-budget movies on its roster, the program is now attracting films that were ineligible for California tax credits under the state’s first-generation incentive program, which was closed to projects with total budgets exceeding $75 million. But Program 2.0 has changed that, attracting such big-budget efforts as A Wrinkle in Time, BumblebeeCall of the Wild and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

“California’s expanded tax credit program was successful from day one in attracting TV projects and mid-range features, and it’s succeeding over the long term with big-budget film projects like those announced today,” California Film Commission executive director Amy Lemisch said Monday in announcing the selections. “While our tax credit is more modest than what’s offered by some competitors, filmmakers understand that California can still provide the best value thanks to our superior talent, infrastructure, weather and locations.”

Based on data provided with each tax credit application, the nine conditionally approved film projects are expected to employ nearly 500 cast, 1,600 crew, and 30,000 extras (including stand-ins measured in man-days). They will generate an estimated $288.6 million in overall qualified spending across the state.

“The opportunity to produce projects here in California not only creates jobs and economic activity in-state, but it allows us to use the incredible resources we have in our own backyard,” said Jeff LaPlante, president of physical production for Universal Pictures. “California provides an extraordinary setting that is adaptable for film production, and our ability to utilize tax credits locally benefits the community and many people across the industry.”

Should any of the projects announced Monday not get a final green light, applicants may withdraw from the program and their tax credits are reassigned to one or more other projects currently on the waitlist.

The next application period for feature film tax credits will be held June 18-22.