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The Australian film industry is suddenly soaring thanks to Covid

Lured by grants and low Covid rates, the stars are flocking to Australia to make Hollywood blockbusters down under.

Oceans franchise co-stars and close friends George Clooney and Julia Roberts are teaming up once again in their new rom-com Ticket To Paradise, set to begin filming in the Gold Coast, the Whitsundays, and Brisbane later this year.

The film is expected to create 1000 jobs for local Aussie actors, extras, and crew, whilst injecting an estimated $32.7m into the Queensland economy.

australian film industry

This film is one of six international productions to be filmed in Queensland since July 2020, proving that the state is somewhat of a refuge for actors and directors wishing to escape the pandemic in California and continue to work.

“It’s one of the few places I feel OK about not having my mask on right now. It’s literally a breath of fresh air,” Director Ron Howard, who is about to film Thirteen Lives (about the 2018 Thai soccer team cave rescue) in the Gold Coast hinterland, told federal arts minister Paul Fletcher.

Howard is evidently not the only filmmaker to leave their quarantine Cocoon and Rush to Australia. It was officially announced last week that Marvel Studios would relocate its headquarters from Atlanta to Australia for the next five years.

According to the Daily Telegraph, an insider confirmed the move to Sydney, saying: “There is nowhere in the world where films can be shot in the way they can be here in Australia.” Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi!

“Sydney is the perfect place for the Marvel blockbusters because most are essentially shot in front of a green screen. The whole studio is essentially transporting itself from the US.” A little bit back-handed, but okay.

Given the success of the Australian filmed Thor: Ragnarok, the move Down Under makes sense for the studio. What’s more, the Morrison Government’s $540m location incentive grant scheme for the industry means that we could see a lot more superheroes flying around Sydney in the not so distant future.

Hop on to the metaphorical celebrity sight-seeing bus and let’s take a tour around Australia to see which actors you might run into in Woolies. Wouldn’t you just love to invite Clooney around for a Nespresso coffee?

Queensland

  • Elvis, the biopic by Baz Luhrmann starring Tom Hanks and Austin Butler, recently finished production at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast.
  • Netflix sci-fi film, Escape From Spiderhead, based on George Saunders’ short story of the same name and starring Chris Hemsworth and Gal Gadot, was shot late last year on the Gold Coast.
  • The NBCUniversal International Studios ten-part drama Irreverent will also be shot in far-north Queensland.
  • Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s autobiographical sitcom Young Rock relocated to Queensland last November.
  • Joe Exotic, based on the saga of convicted felon Joe “Exotic” Schreibvogel and his nemesis Carole Baskin (set to be portrayed by SNL’s Kate Mckinnon) is moving into Brisbane’s Screen Queensland Studios in April.

New South Wales

  • The Netflix comedy, God’s Favorite Idiot, starring and co-produced by Melissa McCarthy, has relocated to Australia.
  • In January, an eight-episode series called Pieces of Her, starring Toni Collette was filmed in the Sydney suburb of Homebush.

ACT

  • Blacklight starring Liam Neeson was shot last November in Canberra.

South Australia

  • Production is underway on a six-part series co-produced by Stan and BBC One called, The Tourist, starring Jamie Dornan.