Fox takes 'Narnia' to Queensland

Second big win for Australian industry this month

SYDNEY -- Australia is becoming a preferred destination for big-budget shoots again as the Aussie dollar becomes more competitive, with the announcement Friday that Walden Media and Twentieth Century Fox's "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" will be made in Queensland.

Earlier this month it was confirmed that that "Green Lantern" is set for a Sydney shoot this year.

The Queensland government is in final negotiations to secure the shoot.

While the Australian dollar almost reached equal value with the greenback last year, it has now dropped back to about US$0.72, increasing the appeal of locations Down Under.

"Securing 'The Voyage of the Dawn Treader' would represent a welcome economic stimulus to Queensland, as well as significant job creation and the ongoing development of creative and technical skill," Queensland premier Anna Bligh said.

Principal photography is scheduled to begin in late July and wrap in early November, with the production based at Warner Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast.

As well as a number of unspecified incentives to secure the shoot, Warner Roadshow Studios tank facilities were a key driver in negotiations fro the third film in the "Narnia" series.

Locations in and around the Gold Coast, Redland City and the scenic Whitsundays Islands will also feature in the film.

Preproduction on the project has begun, with Michael Apted at the helm.

"As production begets production, I am hopeful that attracting this film will consolidate Queensland's position as a premier global production base," Bligh added.