Hollywood moves to the UK – Part 1

Hollywood moves to the UK – Part 1

Starting this summer, the mother of all big budget movie-making, Hollywood, is gathering up its skirts and heading for Blighty, as several major studios have recently announced the UK as their location of choice for some behemoth feature films, using UK studios, locations and crew. 

Here is our round up of some of the big-hitters coming to these shores over the next six months or so. 

And remember, keep your eyes peeled for A-list directors and big name actors, and good luck trying to get dinner reservations in top London restaurants…


Filming on the much talked-about Star Wars: Episode VII is due to be up and running in early 2014 with J.J. Abrams at the helm. The film is the latest in the hugely successful franchise, and comes from Lucasfilm, now owned by Disney. Although studios have yet to be officially confirmed, our hunch is that Pinewood is at the top of the shortlist.

The Mouse House is also working on its own big screen adaptation of Cinderella, due to shoot in the autumn at Pinewood Studios. Our very own Sir Kenneth Branagh is in the director’s chair for this one.

Not to be outdone, another giant of US cinema, Marvel, is settling into its temporary home with Guardians of the Galaxy. The superheroes pic has been in pre-production for some time, with shooting starting up in late June. Directed by James Gunn, the feature is using Pinewood, Shepperton and Longcross Studios.

Another  massive Marvel project currently gearing up is The Avengers 2. Lensing is due to begin in early 2014 at Shepperton and Pinewood, with Joss Whedon directing from his own screenplay.

An autumn shoot is in the frame for the much-anticipated big screen version of the successful 1960s TV series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The project comes from Warner Bros., and will be housed at the industry giant’s studio at Leavesden – the only Hollywood company with a permanent base in the UK. Guy Ritchie directs.

Also from Warner Bros.  is Ron Howard’s maritime disaster movie, In the Heart of the Sea, now set up at Leavesden and eyeing an autumn start. The film recounts the true life story of American whaling ship The Essex, and how it was destroyed by a whale in 1820.

Another Hollywood old timer, Twentieth Century Fox, is developing Exodus, the biblical epic to be directed by Sir Ridley Scott. The story of Moses is slated to start filming towards the end of this year at Pinewood Studios.

Northern Ireland is also getting in on the action, hosting the Luke Evans-starrer Dracula. Gary Shore directs this latest incarnation of the vampire legend, which comes from Michael De Luca Productions and Universal Pictures.

So it’s an exciting time ahead – American film industry, we salute you. And you can read Part 2 of our round-up, with even more US films, here. 

Further information on all these films can be found on Production Intelligence, the online database of advance production news from The Knowledge.

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