Taking advantage of the lucrative UK TV tax credit, AMC is the latest U.S. network to head to London to make a pilot. Film London, the body that promotes shooting in the British capital, confirmed today that the AMC Studios-produced Knifeman will follow in the footsteps of Fox’s 24: Live Another Day which recently shot there. The six month 24 shoot generated about £37M worth of local production spend and helped up the city’s profile as a TV production center. Knifeman is inspired by the biography of John Hunter by Wendy Moore, The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching And The Birth Of Modern Surgery. It’s set in 18th Century London and centers on a charming, arrogant surgeon who robs graves and harvests organs. The pilot was written by Rolin Jones (Low Winter Sun) and developed by Jones and Ron Fitzgerald (Friday Night Lights), both of whom will serve as executive producers. Media Rights Capital (House Of Cards), Josh Donnen and Robert Zotnowski are also executive producers. Craig Zisk recently stepped in to direct after Brian Percival pulled out for personal reasons.
The tax credit, which has also lured ABC pilot Galavant and Disney Channel’s multi-part movie Evermoor, is one of the factors which has helped to double filming in London. The film tax credit, which was recently expanded, has also lately helped to attract such features as The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Night At The Museum 3, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Edge Of Tomorrow and Jupiter Ascending.
Film London is celebrating its 10th anniversary and has committed a further £4M to promoting the city as a location destination. This will include over £2M in training, development and financing for up to 36 filmmaking teams over three years. Over £1.7M will be invested in London’s film culture and heritage over four years. Further, moving to establish London as the “games capital of the world” via the tax credit for games, Film London has also signed a memorandum of understanding with UK Interactive Entertainment to explore the feasibility of a range of activities including a new international trade strategy for games and a major B2B games event in the capital in 2015.
London Mayor Boris Johnson said today, “Congratulations to Film London, which for 10 years has helped transform our city into one of the world’s greatest filmmaking centers. In promoting London’s phenomenal talent, cutting edge facilities and iconic locations, it has been fundamental in turning the capital into a global production hub. From Jack Bauer fighting terrorists in 24: Live Another Day to an invasion of Jedi knights and storm troopers as Star Wars 7 lands, London is at the heart of a thriving sector that generates billions for our economy. We’ve conquered film, we’re working on television and animation – the next goal is ensuring we have the world’s best games industry too.”