Star Wars to be Filmed in the U.K.

While Hollywood continues to feel withdrawal pains from the production exodus, the U.K. is thriving, thanks to a mix of tax incentives and high-quality crews.

Pinewood Shepperton and Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden have been working full bore during the past few months, housing Kenneth Branagh’s “Cinderella,” Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” and WB-Village Roadshow’s “Edge of Tomorrow” (aka “All You Need Is Kill”). J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars” pic is skedded for Pinewood in January.

Blighty’s tax credit of 25% of qualifying production expenses for films that spend up to £20 million ($31 million), and 20% for films that spend over that total was recently added to the TV and animation sectors. There are rumblings that a standalone VFX incentive may be in the works as well, as Soho is flush with top pros and looking for post-“Harry Potter” biz.

“When you factor that you don’t have to bring in crews, because U.K. crews are amongst the best in the world, and you’ve got an incentive that fully covers above the line, it makes the U.K. probably one of the cheapest places in the world to shoot,” says Pinewood exec VP Andy Weltman. . .

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