Warner Brothers
Warner Brothers

Update: Confirmed: WB planning to purchase Leavesden Studios after 'HP'

  January 27, 2010 at 1:13 AM ET
  Jeremy     SnitchSeeker (via The Financial Times)
  Harry Potter, Warner Brothers, Leavesden Studios, financial times, purchase,

Confirmed: Warner Brothers has confirmedopens in new window these plans through their official twitter account.

A new reportopens in new window has found it's way online indicating that Warner Brothers plans to buy the famous Leavesden Studios after Harry Potter filming is complete.

Says the Financial Timesopens in new window:

Warner Brothers will on Wednesday register plans to establish a permanent base in the UK as part of an estimated £100m ($161m)-plus investment that would make it the only Hollywood major to own a studio outside the US.

A person familiar with the plans said Warner Brothers wants to make Leavesden a European hub for post-production, including visual effects, animatronics and film editing in the UK, and believes that it will attract film business to the country.

The proposal also includes a plan to allow members of the public to visit, by appointment, the sets of films made at Leavesden, including the great hall from the Harry Potter series.

The Great Hall is one of very few sets that have remained in tact at Leavesden since Sorcerer's Stone filming. Other classic sets include Dumbledore's Office and the Gryffindor common room.

To read the full report, click hereopens in new window.

Update: Warner Brothers has released an official statement about their planned acquisition:

An application for planning permission to retain and refurbish the existing film production facilities at Leavesden Studios has been submitted by Warner Bros. to Three Rivers District Council and Watford Borough Council.

The proposal would mark a multi-million pound investment by the Hollywood studio, which aims to secure the future of Leavesden's production studios and continue to provide important inward investment in the UK's film industry infrastructure.

The proposal includes the refurbishment and extension of the studios film production facilities increasing the ability to provide for services such as visual effects, prosthetics, animatronics and film editing as well as the expansion of the external filming and production areas.

The application also proposes an element of public access. By prior booking, visitors will be able to view for the very first time the original sets as they appeared in the films produced at Leavesden Studios. As well as preserving these extraordinary film sets, this will also celebrate the exceptional creativity and craftsmanship of the creators of these films and the UK film industry as a whole.

Leavesden Studios has been the UK production home for Warner Bros. and the Harry Potter films for the last decade as well as the base for other successful Warner Bros. films including Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and The Dark Knight. Over this time the studio's investment in the UK has accounted for 25-50% of the UK's inward investment in film production and this proposal would safeguard the employment associated with Warner Bros.' existing film production activities and provide a platform for employment growth and wider benefits within the local economy/local community.

A Warner Bros. spokesperson said: "Warner Bros. holds Leavesden Studios in the highest esteem as the home of our much-loved Harry Potter films. This proposal is central to our long-term plans to invest in the local production community, to create local and industry employment opportunities, and to continue the legacy of exceptional British filmmaking at Leavesden and across the UK. We look forward to continuing to cooperate with the Three Rivers and Watford Councils and with the local communities, as the project moves forward.


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