Dick Cook Studios (DCS), an independent production company helmed by former Walt Disney Studios chairman DIck Cook, will receive AUD $30 million ($20,473,020 USD) in Australian government funding to produce two fantasy features in the country.
The funding is part of an Australian Location Incentive Program with a warchest of AUD $140 million. The fund was announced in May 2018 to lure foreign productions to Australia. Melbourne’s Docklands Studios will also receive government money to construct a massive new soundstage as part of that push. The government is backing a AUD $46 million, 3700-square-metre soundstage. DCS will also establish an ongoing production office at the studio.
The new facility is being expanded to enable Docklands to compete with Sydney’s Fox Studios and the Gold Coast’s Village Roadshow Studios for foreign film projects. The project will be under construction for an estimated two years.
DCS is planning on first producing Ranger’s Apprentice, expected to begin production in July 2020. The film will be based on the medieval fantasy novel series by Hey Dad! co-creator John Flanagan. That will be followed by The Alchemyst, slated for a January 2021 start. That film is based on a book series by Irish author Michael Scott.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the new sound stage,Dick Cook Studios “secures a pipeline of major screen projects and ongoing jobs in Victoria. “This is a coup for our industry and reflects the global reputation of our facilities, locations and talent.”