QLD U$100m Battleship movie sunk by Louisiana

BattleshipUniversal Pictures has decided not to shoot its U$150m movie adaptation of the Hasbro board game Battleship in Queensland, taking production to the US state of Louisiana instead.

A Gold Coast industry source told Encore that “a number of companies were holding our breath for Battleship, but it went to Louisiana due to federal rebate issues. Screen Queensland did a great job trying to get it here; they’d been working on it for the last six months or so, but at the end it was the federal rebate that let us all down”.

The film will be directed by Peter Berg, and tells the story of a fleet of five ships that comes across a group of aliens sailing in black ships, building a mysterious power source. Battleship was expected to complement its Gold Coast shoot with production in Hawaii during the northern hemisphere summer. The release date is set as July 29, 2011.

It is the second high budget project that Australia loses to Louisiana, following last year’s Warner production Green Lantern, which was set to shoot in Sydney.

Screen Queensland CEO Mauren Barron issued a statement saying that commitment “was never made in relation to filming in Queensland” and that the film’s producers chose Louisiana due to its proximity to military vessels and aircraft.

“Screen Queensland made a generous offer of incentives to the production and has received positive feedback with regards to the offer.

“Productions of this nature do provide significant economic benefits to the Queensland economy […] Screen Queensland will continue to work hard to promote Queensland as a location of choice for international productions.  This decision in no way reflects what is on offer in Queensland.  The state offers unrivalled locations, attractive incentives and skilled practitioners,” said Barron.

Barron added that a strong Australian dollar makes the country a less appealing location for international projects, and that the upcoming Government review will be a good opportunity to discuss this issue further.


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