Warner Bros. to Expand U.K. Studio Space

Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden UK Aerial View - H 2012

Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden UK Aerial View - H 2012

Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden just outside London will get three new stages and more office space, with the studio also announcing the start of production of "Tarzan."

LONDON – Warner Bros. on Monday announced plans to expand its Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden production facility just outside London.

It will build three "new state-of-the-art stages" and add 100,000 square feet of office space, the company said.

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The studio also revealed that its action adventure Tarzan started shooting in the U.K. on Monday. It will film at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden and on location.

The announcements were made ahead of a reception celebrating the creative industries in the U.K. It will be hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street and attended by Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara and Josh Berger, president and managing director, Warner Bros. U.K.

Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden opened in June 2012, becoming the first studio of its kind to be built in the U.K. in 70 years and the only facility outside of the U.S. to be owned and operated by a Hollywood studio.

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The expansion of Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden will see the construction of three new soundstages, comprising one 35,000-square-foot space and two 17,000-square-foot buildings. Work is set to be completed by the end of the year, the studio said. Financial details weren't disclosed. This is in addition to the opening earlier in 2014 of an extra workshop space, an external tank and a sound stage at Leavesden.

U.K. studio operators have said demand for studio space has remained high. Pinewood Shepperton recently also received government approval for a $340 million expansion.

Tarzan stars Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie, Samuel L Jackson and Christoph Waltz and is directed by David Yates, director of the last four Harry Potter films.

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The film joins Pan, directed by Joe Wright, which has been filming at  Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, Cardington Studios and on location since April.

Doug Liman's Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise, Ron Howard's Heart of the Sea, and Man from U.N.C.L.E, directed by Guy Ritchie, have also shot at Leavesden, along with TV productions, commercials and music videos.

"Warner Bros. has produced some of our most popular and successful films in the U.K., working with British talent," said Tsujihara. "The expansion of Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden will allow us to further tap into the world-class creativity and innovation available here to continue this tradition of filmmaking excellence."

Added Berger: "Today we reinforce once again our commitment to the U.K. creative industries — those that employ some of the most talented creatives in the world. We're proud to be investing in facilities and productions right across the U.K.'s film, television, video games and theater businesses, and in the next generation of talent through our new program, Warner Bros. Creative Talent."

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai