Alex Proyas' Paradise Lost called off, and Digital Domain's local office
[Fri 10/02/2012 12:00:45]
By Brendan Swift
Alex Proyas' sci-fi epic Paradise Lost has been scrapped after the filmmakers and Legendary Pictures were unable to agree on a final budget.
Australian sources have confirmed the decision (first reported by Deadline.com), which represents a major blow for the local industry. The VFX-heavy tale about good and evil was expected to bring an estimated $88 million in production expenditure to New South Wales and create an estimated 1300 jobs.
However, escalating costs forced a production delay late last year in an attempt to reduce the budget to a reported $US120 million. But the gap between the filmmakers proposed budget and Legendary Pictures could not be breached.
NSW deputy premier and minister for trade and investment, Andrew Stoner, said the film's ambitious visual and special effects could not be accomplished within the proposed budget.
“This is a blow to the NSW film industry and will be very disappointing to the filmmakers and the crew and cast who were expecting to work on the film,” he said in a statement. “The NSW government remains committed to attracting international production. We will continue to take a proactive approach to marketing the state’s talent and facilities, especially in light of the high Australian dollar."
He said the state remains in negotiations with other movie studios to bring other film projects to the state and noted that Animal Logic had recently begun work on another animated feature film, Lego: The Piece of Resistance.
The government said Paradise Lost received no state financial subsidies because its production milestones were not met.
A government spokesperson said a planned Sydney office for VFX house Digital Domain will no longer be opened. Digital Domain was set to create the bulk of Paradise Lost's effects and was also an investor in the film.
However, the company is understood to be planning to bring other VFX projects to Australia, such as Ender's Game which is currently shooting in New Orleans, and is likely to maintain some Australian presence given the lucrative 30 per cent post, digital and visual effects production (PDV) rebate.
Paradise Lost had cast Bradley Cooper as Lucifer and Benjamin Walker as archangel Michael. It also included Australian actor Callan McAuliffe (I Am Number Four).
Contact this reporter at email@example.com or on Twitter at @bcswift.
Alex Proyas (left) and New South Wales premier and minister for trade and investment, Andrew Stoner, pictured in July when Paradise Lost was officially announced.
[Fri 10/02/2012 12:00:45]