Green Lantern prepares for Mexico shoot

By Brendan Swift

Warner Bros is understood to be preparing to shift its Green Lantern production to Mexico from Australia, where the booming currency has blown out costs.

The latest proposal overrides recent plans to shift the film to the US state of Louisiana (as reported in the October issue of INSIDEFILM) although a final decision has yet to be made.

If the shoot does proceed at Fox Studios Australia it would add more than $US20 million to production costs due to the rising dollar, according to sources.

However, it is understood that Warner Bros is continuing to pay Fox Studios Australia to hire its eight sound stages although there have been rumours that it may use the space to shoot another film.

Green Lantern, which will star Ryan Reynolds in the lead role, is set to begin filming early next year. It was originally scheduled to begin filming at Fox Studios Australia in November.

Hollywood thriller Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is currently shooting in Melbourne while Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader began filming at the Warner Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast in July.

However, Warner Bros had not locked in its financing when NSW Premier Nathan Rees announced the State had won the production in April this year. The value of the Australian dollar has since risen to about 87.5 US cents from about 72 US cents at that time.

“We still haven’t given up on Green Lantern but the way the exchange rate is going up it’s looking more and more unlikely,” one source said.

As well as facing a rising Australian dollar, Green Lantern director Martin Campbell is also understood to have made substantial script amendments, which required a higher budget, placing further pressure on the production’s Australian base.

Another source suggested the production might have required more studio space than Fox Studios Australia could accommodate.

The last major feature film shot at Fox Studios Australia was Hugh Jackman’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine in early 2008. Meanwhile, the facility’s long term operations manager James Bramley recently resigned. He has been replaced by another long term staff member, Sam Pantos.