Australia loses Jupiter Ascending and possibly 20,000 Leagues


Australia has lost the Wachowski’s “Jupiter Ascending” because the Federal Government so far refuses to increase its location offset rebate, says The Sydney Morning Herald.

The science-fiction film, set to star Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis, was originally set to film in Sydney; the production has relocated to the UK, as a result of the high value for the AU dollar.

Another movie originally set to shoot in Sydney, at Fox Studios, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt, might also find a new home for the same reasons.

There was now no international feature-film scheduled for Australia over the next 12 months.

“The one-off funding for The Wolverine gave the Federal Government a lot of good publicity,” the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance’s director of entertainment and crew, Mal Tulloch said. “Now it’s time to put up or shut up.”

The CEO of the Ausfilm board, Debra Richards, said “Jupiter Ascending” wasn’t a lock for Sydney, but it was close to being one.

“But on the back of the one-off for The Wolverine, they indicated to us [Ausfilm] they were interested in making the film in Australia if the 30 per cent location offset eventuated. Film producers want to come and work with our crews,” she said.

Aussie Grant Hill was expected to produce the movie.

One source said: “It would have been bigger than The Wolverine; 2000 people – it was almost a $200 million film. But the government didn’t react quick enough or wasn’t interested in extending the one-off, so the film’s gone”.

Though Australia was once an attractive place for international blockbusters to lens, with “Star Wars Episode II : Attack of the Clones”, “Superman Returns”, “The Matrix” films, and “Scooby Doo” all filmed locally, the rising value of the dollar coupled with the government’s reluctance to loosen their belt when it came to helping out international productions, has seen less and less big-budget movies headed down under. In recent years, George Miller’s “Mad Max Fury Road” and “Justice League of America”, have either relocated or collapsed as a result of Oz’s rebate tightening.