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Netflix has struck a deal to rent large parts of British studio space giant Pinewood’s Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England, creating a production hub for the global streaming powerhouse in the U.K.
Netflix said the production space features 14 sound stages, workshops and office space. The first Netflix original to use the studio facilities will be Netflix/Skydance Media’s Charlize Theron film The Old Guard, based on the comic book series created by Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernández.
The Surrey studios have recently been used for Universal Pictures’ Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns.
Financial details and the exact length of the multi-year deal weren’t immediately clear.
“Shepperton has been synonymous with world-class film for nearly a century, and it’s an important production hub for the U.K. creative community today,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “We’re incredibly proud to be part of that heritage. This investment will ensure that British creators and producers have first-rate production facilities and a world stage for their work.”
Netflix has in the past backed the expansion of Shepperton to a similar size as Pinewood, which has been the production base for such Hollywood franchises as the James Bond and the Star Wars films.
The news of the long-anticipated production hub comes a day after Netflix U.K. executives told the British parliament’s House of Lords that the streamer is committed to the country long-term, and to featuring U.K. voices, whether established ones like Ricky Gervais or new ones.
“This is part of Netflix’s long-term commitment to the U.K. creative community. In the last year alone, over 25,000 cast, crew and extras have worked on almost 40 Netflix originals and co-productions across Britain,” the company said on Wednesday.
Jeremy Wright, the U.K. secretary of state for culture, media and sport, also commented on the Netflix deal, saying: “Our world-class crews and studios like Pinewood and Shepperton are making the U.K. a global production destination of choice, helped by the success of the government’s creative sector tax reliefs. Netflix’s long-term commitment is a welcome sign of confidence that a new golden age of screen is only just beginning.”
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