QLD set for $172m boost as Disney+ to film new series based on Jules Verne novel

QLD set for $172m boost as Disney+ to film new series based on Jules Verne novel

The Gold Coast screen industry continues to thrive after securing entertainment giant Disney+ for the production of Nautilus, with filming to begin from early 2022 at Village Roadshow Studios.

The sci-fi adventure series is set to receive $23.3 million in funding from the Federal Government’s $540 million Location Incentive Program, in addition to support from Screen Queensland’s Production Attraction Strategy (PAS).

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher says the production is expected generate more than $172 million of local economic activity.

"Nautilus will directly create more than 290 jobs for Australian cast and crew, more than 2,200 extras roles, and use the services of an estimated 200 businesses across the country when they begin filming early next year," Minister Fletcher says.

"The Morrison Government’s $540 million Location Incentive program is working very effectively to support the Australian screen sector to take advantage of the global boom in high-end content production, attracting substantial international series like Nautilus to our shores alongside Ron Howard’s Thirteen Lives, and Ticket to Paradise starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts."

To date, more than $243 million has been distributed under the Location Incentive to attract 24 international productions to Australia, generating more than $1.89 billion of expenditure in the economy, providing more than 16,100 employment opportunities for local cast and crew, and creating work for over 15,400 businesses that support these big productions.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the production is expected to generate $96 million for the Queensland economy, offering 240 jobs and 350 extras.

“Supporting the Screen industry and luring big budget productions here through our Production Attraction Strategy is a critical part of our Economic Recovery Plan,"  the Premier says.

“With the series set to release to a massive global audience of Disney and sci-fi fans, via the enormously popular streaming platform Disney+, the potential for multiple seasons is a particularly exciting prospect for our local screen workforce, not to mention the huge flow-on benefits to Queensland’s economy as my Government continues to strategically invest in our post-COVID recovery.

"The Walt Disney Company filmed Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in Queensland, as well as Thor: Ragnarök via their subsidiary Marvel Studios, so we are thrilled that one of the biggest names in the global screen industry has once again chosen our state."

The Sunshine State has previously reeled in major productions such as Godzilla, Thor and Baz Luhrmann's Elvis biopic through its PAS incentive.  

Production will include large-scale sets and heavy visual effects, with filming scheduled for many months, says Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich.

“In addition to its sound stages, Village Roadshow Studio’s three water tanks will be critical to this production, alongside expert local crew who are particularly experienced with water work – other key factors that positioned Queensland as a stand-out candidate to bring this highly anticipated series to life,” says Munnich.

Developed and co-produced by Moonriver TV and Seven Stories, the 10-part series is based on Jules Verne’s novel 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.

Disney+ director of scripted original content Johanna Devereaux says Verne’s story is a beloved classic all around the world.

“It’s a huge privilege to bring the Nautilus and her crew to life again in such a bold, exciting way, with a diverse team of creative talent and on-screen characters,” says Devereaux.

“The series will be breath-taking, action-packed, and a huge amount of fun.”

Netflix to film new series in Far North Queensland

The online streaming giant has not slowed down its production in Queensland, with Mission Beach chosen as the location for 10-part drama series Irreverent.

Beginning filming later this year, the series will tell the story of an American crook hiding in a small Australian reef community in Far North Queensland.

Netflix has previously dipped its toes in the Australian film industry, producing originals such as Escape from the Spiderhead and True Spirit

Far North Queensland Screen Champion and Speaker for Queensland Parliament Curtis Pitt says the Far North is an incredibly diverse backdrop for screen productions.

“Having productions like Irreverent film here, not only boosts the local economy and creates local jobs, but it shows off our spectacular region,” says Pitt.

“Securing these three productions is a critical part of Queensland’s economic recovery, contributing hundreds of millions to the local economy and importantly creating thousands of local jobs.”

Netflix and NBCU will be co-commissioners, with the series to screen exclusively on Netflix in Australia and New Zealand, and on Peacock worldwide.

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