As has been rumoured for a while now, Netflix is setting up a production hub in the UK at Pinewood’s Shepperton Studios, which has been home to a string of Marvel and Disney tentpoles in recent years.
The first production to film at the 14-stage studio space is the streamer’s now-shooting fantasy pic The Old Guard with Charlize Theron and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The hub also includes workshops and office spaces.
We understand this is a 10-year lease, a significant statement of intent from the streamer.
“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.”
According to the online giant, over the past year more than 25,000 cast, crew and extras have worked on 40 Netflix productions across the UK. These include Sex Education in Wales, Outlaw King in Scotland and The Crown at Elstree Studios. That number is set to increase in 2019, with productions such as Jingle Jangle at Arborfield Studios, Cursed at Langley Studios and Julian Fellowes’ The English Game which recently started filming in Manchester.
The UK growth comes as Netflix expands aggressively across Europe, including in Spain where the company has launched a vast Madrid production hub. Netflix already operates a large central London office and has bases in Netherlands and Paris. German and Italian expansion is expected next.
Pinewood is also growing its footprint with UK studio space in such high demand from Hollywood studios and high-end drama producers.
“Netflix’s decision to base their production hub at Shepperton is a strong vote of support for the Pinewood Group and gives us great confidence as we expand our UK studios,” said Paul Golding, chairman, Pinewood Group. “Our plans, which represent the single biggest expansion of stage space across the UK, will see Pinewood Group open 22 new sound stages, enabling us to host even more productions.”