Warner Bros. Discovery is doubling down on one of its key production hubs, which will serve as the primary home for DC Studios projects once the expansion is completed on the lot just outside of central London in Leavesden.
Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden unveiled plans on Thursday to add 10 new soundstages and incorporate 400,000 additional square feet of production and support space. The project is expected to break ground in the second quarter of 2024 and finish in 2027.
When completed, the lot will have 29 stages and 1.78 million square feet of production space. DC Studios co-chief executives James Gunn and Peter Safran will consult on the project. Recent films and TV shows to shoot at the location include Barbie, House of the Dragon and upcoming DC feature Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
“Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden is globally recognized for its exceptional soundstages and facilities, and with this planned expansion adding significant capacity and capabilities, it will be home to even more incredible storytelling for both film and television projects,” said WBD chief operating officer Simon Robinson in a statement. “We are proud to not only be growing our productions in Leavesden and making it the main hub for DC Studios, but also to be growing our economic and community contributions to the U.K.’s creative sector.”
The U.K. has emerged as a major hub for studios and streamers, largely thanks to generous tax incentives and its proximity to a large pool of talent. Production in 2019 reached a record high $4.7 billion in revenue. The availability of studio space has failed to keep up with demand, though that concern was mitigated when content spend dropped last year.
In March, the British government announced that it would raise financial incentives to further attract productions. Under the restructuring, films and high-end TV projects will get a 34 percent expenditure credit. The former model featured a 25 percent tax rebate.
TV shows that have shot in Britain include The Crown and Peaky Blinders.
“Warner Bros. Discovery’s ambitious plan to grow its Leavesden studio is a huge vote of confidence in the U.K. — creating thousands of jobs and growing our economy — and means that British-made entertainment will continue to delight and entertain global audiences,” said chancellor of the exchequer, or finance minister, Jeremy Hunt in a statement.
WBD projects that the expansion will drive the creation of 4,000 new jobs across the U.K. and grow WBSL’s contribution to the economy by more than ?200 million, the company said.
Hunt on Thursday was on the lot to meet with Robinson and Dan Dark, executive vp worldwide studio operations, according to people familiar with the meeting.
The lot will have 29 stages and 1.78 million square feet of production space. DC Studios co-chief executives James Gunn and Peter Safran will consult on the project. Read More