The government has given the clearest hint yet that it is ready to spend big money to ensure a blockbuster fantasy tale is filmed in New Zealand.
The director of big budget movie “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” says he will only bring the production to New Zealand if he gets government support.
Now Finance Minister Michael Cullen says he is “not ruling out some form of assistance” for the project.
The $170 million version of the CS Lewis novel is being directed by New Zealander Andrew Adamson, who made blockbuster movie Shrek.
Although Adamson is now based in Hollywood, he wants to film his next movie in New Zealand. He says he cannot afford to do so without tax breaks.
Adamson says Australia and Britain offer rebates to filmmakers and it does not make sense if New Zealand refuses to do the same.
He says he has already scouted and found great locations in New Zealand in the hope that a tax incentive or rebate will eventually come through.
“We have prepped and scripted a lot of the movie with New Zealand in mind.”
The movie involves 18 months of filming and digital effects work, all hoped to be carried out in New Zealand. It will be the first of possibly five in the Narnia chronicles.