Marvel Boss Says He’d “Love To” Shoot Blockbuster Films In California, But Tax Incentives “A Big Part” Why They’re Not

Kevin Feige

With on-location film production in Los Angeles recently dropping to a five-year low, the California Film Commission might want to consider clearing a future Marvel production for a tax credit.

Speaking to reporters Monday at a Marvel Studios tour, the brand’s president Kevin Feige said: “We all work here [in California]. We’d love to make movies here. We made a handful of the early movies here, we hope to make some [here].” But he said the state’s film incentives are “a big part” of why Marvel’s shoots aren’t planted in the Golden State. “If you ask any business person, they would say that’s the biggest part of it,” he added.

Pinewood Atlanta Studios recently has been home to a number of Marvel productions including Black Pantherwhich is wrapping in the next day; previous shoots Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War; and current productions Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel and the upcoming Ant-Man and The Wasp. Currently in pre-production, but with a director soon to be announced, is Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson, which is eyeing a February start date.

A Marvel film production in California would bring a great deal of qualified spending to the state. Last year, Disney’s Ava DuVernay title A Wrinkle in Time represented the first legit tentpole to be awarded tax credits ($18.1M) under the expanded California Film & TV tax program, delivering an estimated $85M in qualified spending to the state with 400 cast and crew members employed and $44M in wages paid to below-the-line workers. Wrinkle shot mainly outside the L.A. 30-mile zone. Marvel’s FX series Legion currently receives one of the biggest state tax TV credits at $11M. But when it comes to state tax credits, it’s not a matter that Marvel haggles about; Disney corporate contends with that.

A number of Marvel movies have been shooting outside the United States including Black Panther. The property has a “globe-trotting conceit like James Bond, that’s why we looked at international locales,” said Feige. The pic follows T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), a superhero whose daily life entails presiding over the fictional utopian African nation Wakanda as its king. The film, which opens on February 16, recently completed second-unit work in Busan, South Korea. Infinity War‘s second unit is currently over in Scotland for a four-week shoot.

“As the stories call for it, we love the movies to have a global feel,” said Feige.

All news out of last night’s Marvel press conference was embargoed until this morning.

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