Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.
Arts Minister Simon Crean has told Disney executives he hopes to finalize a $12.2 million payment to persuade the studio to shoot David Fincher’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Down Under. At a meeting in Canberra today Crean told Tony To, Disney Exec VP Production, he aimed to make an offer within two weeks after he secures the support of the Queensland and NSW Governments. Disney has said the film is ready to go into pre-production once the incentive is firm. Crean’s spokesman tells Deadline the government is looking at a one-off payment that would bring the 16.5% location offset to 30%, as it did to secure The Wolverine to Sydney. Disney would utilize the Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast and locations in Sydney. Locations marketing agency Ausfilm has been lobbying the government to hike the rebate to 30% permanently to offset the strong Oz dollar versus the greenback and to be competitive with other destinations. Apart from The Wolverine and The Great Gatsby (technically an Australian production), big budget Hollywood fare has bypassed Australia in the past couple of years.