The Mouse Secures 10-Year Lease Amidst Brexit Backdrop
The Walt Disney Company is moving into Pinewood Studios in the UK, with a long-term lease agreement not dissimilar to Netflix’s 10-year rental of the UK’s Shepperton Studios, Pinewood’s sister site.
Disney is taking ownership of all the stages, backlots and other production accommodation at Pinewood in Buckinghamshire, which is just outside London.
Paul Golding, chairman of Pinewood Group, said in a statement:
“It’s wonderful to have Disney here at Pinewood. They’ve been making great films with us for many years and the fact they want to shoot so many more here is testimony not only to the quality of the teams and infrastructure at Pinewood but also to the British film industry as a whole.”
Since opening in 1936, Pinewood has been a hit factory for movies, including the James Bond franchise.
Disney was considered the favourite to find a permanent UK facility. It has shot five Star Wars features in the UK since buying Lucasfilm, multiple Marvel movies, including The Eternals and, most recently, Black Widow, plus Cinderella, Beauty And The Beast and Mary Poppins Returns, which were all shot at Shepperton.
It also has Cruella, starring Emma Stone shooting at Shepperton — one of the last non-Netflix films likely to be filmed there for a while. Disney also now owns 20th Century Fox and will launch its Disney+ streaming service later this year.
Since 2010, almost a third of all movies with budgets of more than $100 million has been filmed at Pinewood studios around the world, including sites in North America and Asia. But while the company is expanding and investing in Britain, in the past two months it has announced that it is pulling out of its studio partnerships in Atlanta and Malaysia.
Disney’s global domination is due to be completed sometime in 2029.