Disney signs long-term deal to book most of Pinewood Studios
Posted on: Tuesday 24th of September 2019
Disney has struck a long-term deal with Pinewood Studios outside London to take nearly all its stages, backlots and other production accommodation. The arrangement is expected to begin in 2020.
“It’s wonderful to have Disney here at Pinewood,” Paul Golding, chairman of the Pinewood Group Ltd., said in a statement. “They’ve been making great films with us for many years, and the fact they want to shoot so many more here is testimony not only to the quality of the teams and infrastructure at Pinewood but also to the British film industry as a whole.” Golding is a partner at private equity firm Aermont, which bought the Pinewood Group for $446m in 2016. The financial terms of the long-term deal with Disney were not made public
Disney shot some its biggest films – such as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Maleficient: Mistress of Evil and Mary Poppins Returns at Pinewood recently. With eight new Marvel films to be made, as well as Disney debuting their new streaming service for TV shows, there could be many more blockbusters being filmed at the famous Buckinghamshire studios.
The deal with Disney comes two months after Netflix announced a similar arrangement to set up a production hub at the UK’s Shepperton Studios, also owned by the Pinewood Group.
The Netflix and Disney deals are increase concern that studios space in Britain, already in scarce supply, will now be even more difficult for smaller companies and indies to secure. Several studio creation or expansion projects are underway around the UK. Pinewood opened five new soundstages in 2016, has planned for the addition of six more by next year and is eyeing a further expansion after that. Shepperton has received permission to build 16 more soundstages, with the first of them in operation possibly in 2021.
Since 2010, almost a third of all movies with budgets of more than $100m have filmed at Pinewood Group’s studios around the world, including sites in North America and Asia. The company is expanding in Britain, where a production boom bears no signs of slowing down, but recently announced it is pulling out of its studio partnerships in Atlanta (co-owned by Dan Cathy), and Malaysia (Iskandar Malaysia Studios).