Dreamworks Confirms NZ Shoot for Michael Fassbender-starrer 'The Light Between Oceans'

Michael Fassbender Headshot - P 2014
AP Images

Michael Fassbender Headshot - P 2014

The drama, based on M.L. Stedman's New York Times best-seller of the same name, also stars Rachel Weisz and Alicia Vikander

New Zealand has trumped Australia as the location for Derek Cianfrance’s The Light Between Oceans, DreamWorks Studios and locations agency Film NZ announced on Wednesday.

Despite being set off the coast of Western Australia, production on the film, starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz, will begin at the end of September and will include several weeks of filming in the Marlborough and Otago regions of New Zealand, as well as a week on the Australian island of Tasmania.

The Light Between Oceans, based on the best-selling debut novel from M.L. Stedman, is set on a remote island off the coast of Western Australia, in the years following World War I, where a lighthouse keeper and his wife are faced with a moral dilemma when a boat washes ashore with a dead man and a two-month-old infant. When they decide to raise the child as their own, the consequences of their choice are devastating.

In a statement FilmNZ CEO Gisella Carr said New Zealand’s range of new film incentives, which came into effect on April 1 of this year, helped secure the shoot. They include an automatic 20 percent baseline grant for all eligible productions on all qualifying New Zealand production expenditures (QNZPE).

“The production coming here is the result of successful collaboration between a range of agencies including Marlborough District Council, Film Otago Southland and Film New Zealand working together with the producers,” Carr said.

DreamWorks Studios president of production Holly Bario added: “It was important to find the perfect locations to help fulfill our director’s vision for the film, and we couldn’t be more excited to be filming in both New Zealand and Australia."

Heyday Films' David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford are producing the film. Cianfrance last directed the Ryan Gosling drama The Place Beyond the Pines.