This was just sent to me. Chop in this case does not mean cancelled but rather a change in location shooting. But thiswill still cause delays I would think.
Narnia sequel gets the chop
By ANNA CHALMERS
The Dominion Post12/11/2006
Disney has axed plans to make The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobesequel in New Zealand, wasting pre-production work and potentiallyleaving about 200 crew jobless.And New Zealanders have been warned they must lift their game if theywant to keep their edge in the film industry.
The Andrew Adamson-directed Prince Caspian was set to be based in NewZealand.
But Walt Disney International president Andy Bird has announced thatthe film, which it is making with Walden Media, will be shot entirely atBritain's Pinewood Studios, including all the post-production work, TheTimes reported.Mr Bird, a Briton, said that the United States media giant wasdetermined to shoot in Britain as part of its policy of localising itsimage by basing productions away from America, the newspaper reported.
Pre-production work on the Chronicles of Narnia sequel - with areported budget of $300 million - was already well under way in NewZealand.Weta Workshop was also reported to be doing the film's special effects.The five-week shoot alone was understood to be worth at least $10million to New Zealand's industry.
Neither Adamson nor Prince Caspian's producer, fellow Kiwi TimCoddington, returned calls last night.However, one industry source said there was a possibility some minorlocation filming could still be done in New Zealand.The film's departure casts doubts on Walden Media's future in NewZealand - it has made Waterhorse and Bridge to Terabithia here in the past year alone.The decision also highlights the increasing competition among countriestrying to score studio shoots. New Zealand Screen Council executivedirector Tim Thorpe said the country had to lift its game if it did notwant to be left behind with countries such as the United States, Australia and Canada all upping their offerings to studios through incentives and tax breaks.
"We're a small player, we have punched aboveour weight."The Times reported that Britain's new film tax incentives, introducedby Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown and due to take effect fromnext year, had played a key role in luring the studio.Prince Caspian's makers were considering New Zealand, the CzechRepublic and Ireland as locations for the film.Despite its budget, it is unlikely Prince Caspian would have qualifiedfor a 12.5 per cent rebate through the Large Budget Screen ProductionGrant scheme, because an overseas studio needed to spend more than $50million in New Zealand if it was not shooting the entire film here.
Mr Thorpe said Disney was obviously taking advantage of the new taxopportunity.There was no doubt the grants scheme, which saw nearly $50 millionreturned from King Kong, had helped lure big studios, he said.The council recommended last year that the grant's scope be widened,including lowering its threshold."The Government, when we made those recommendations, chose not to takeany of them on board at that time, but I understand that next year theywill be looking at (it) again."