Fri, 26 Jul - 17:07
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Transcript: Joint Press Conference, Fox Studios, Sydney

Topics: Marvel Studios; Thor: Love and Thunder;

 

PAUL FLETCHER:

Alright, everybody ready to go?

Well, I’m very pleased to be here at Fox Studios here in Sydney, with my friend and colleague Don Harwin, the New South Wales Minister for the Arts, and with David Grant, the Vice President for Physical Production at Marvel Studios, to make this extremely important and very exciting announcement in relation to a forthcoming movie production here in Australia, right here at Fox Studios, and also to be filmed at some surrounding locations in New South Wales.

I can announce that Thor: Love and Thunder is going to be filmed here, with the support of just over $24 million – just over $24 million of Commonwealth funding, under our Location Incentive grant. And that’s a very, very exciting project. It’s going to very significant for, of course, the Australian industry. Some 2500 Australians will secure employment, in one way or another, under this project. 1650 Australian businesses will supply the project one way or another. It builds on another film announcement that was made by my predecessor, minister Mitch Fifield earlier this year. So, very significant projects coming to Australia. I’m absolutely delighted that our Liberal-National Government is able to support this project; delighted at the impact it’s going to have on the film industry here in Australia. Really pleased at the partnership that we’re developing with Marvel Studios and the parent company Disney, and really pleased that the wonderful facilities here at Fox Studios are going to be put to very good use with this wonderful project.

I’d like to ask Don Harwin to make some comments.

 

DON HARWIN:

Here in New South Wales, we are super excited not just to be having one Marvel, but now two Marvel films made here in Sydney at Fox Studios. It's going to be a tremendous boost for the New South Wales film industry, and we're delighted to be supporting it out of our Made in New South Wales fund. It's been a big month for New South Wales film. Make no mistake, with the announcement of our PDV rebate, which has enabled Industrial Light Magic to set up here at the Fox Studios, and already they've had over a thousand people applied to come and work for them, which is just fantastic.

But look, make no mistake – and I'm going to hammer it home, pardon the pun –  that New South Wales is absolutely determined to stay the number one place for making filmmaking in Australia, under this government's watch. And we're absolutely delighted to have Thor: Love and Thunder being made right here at Fox Studios.

 

PAUL FLETCHER:

Well thank you very much Don, and of course I would add that, again, the Australian Government is delighted to be contributing over $24 million. We love that, and we think it's going to have a thunderous impact. Now let's ask for David Grant to make some comments.

 

DAVID GRANT:

Australia, we love you. Thank you, let’s start with that.

[Applause]

First of all, we wouldn't be here without the generous support of Prime Minister Morrison, and specifically these ministers standing here: Mr Fletcher and Mr Harwin. Without their support, we wouldn't be here. It was them and their staff that wholly supported the idea of bringing these movies back to back to New South Wales. What that does is that generate back to back continuous employment for those film crews, who have not seen that for many a year.

Our films are going to be produced back to back. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings starts photography next January. Thor: Love and Thunder starts photography next August. Prior to that, we will be prepping the films- but literally, there's no gap. It's continuous back to back employment for all the film crews. Additionally, as part of the support for being here, we are going to create film trainee program where paid trainees in every department on the film- it is our goal to find and create that next generation of Australian filmmakers. Cate Shortland, who went to school here, is now directing Marvel's Black Widow. So-

[Applause]

So hopefully those folks will come out of these schools, and become part of the crew, and then become the next generation, which we're thrilled to help support that. And past that, we do have a special guest we'd like to bring out, and all I'd like to say about it is it is someone who has protected the universe from Dark Elves, Hela, the ultimate baddie Thanos, and needs no introduction: the God of Thunder, Mr Chris Hemsworth.

[Applause]

 

CHRIS HEMSWORTH:

Hello everybody. Firstly, thank you to-

[Laughter]

Anyone. So many options. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Minister Fletcher, Minister Harwin. Thank you all for making this possible. I've spent a large proportion of my career shooting around the globe, and often have found myself speaking with other actors- Australian actors, filmmakers, and talking about how much we all wish we could shoot here in Australia more often.

We were lucky enough to shoot Thor 3 here, and that was an incredible experience. One of the best in my career, and I do attribute that to actually having shot here at home and taking advantage of the abundance of talent and crews and cast and filmmakers. So again thank you very much for the opportunity and I look forward to doing it again next year.

[Applause]

 

PAUL FLETCHER:

Okay any questions?

 

JOURNALIST:

So will all the stars be coming here? The entirety of the film will be shot in New South Wales?

 

DAVID GRANT:

Shang-Chi, the majority of the film is meant to be shot in New South Wales. There will be some portions that are set in other parts of the world. A lot of it will more than likely be cheated in New South Wales. But the majority of photography is meant to be in New South Wales. And Thor: Ragnarok- I mean, oh I can’t believe I just did that sorry. Thor: Love and Thunder, currently the plan is the entirety is here, but it is very early in that process, so yes.

 

JOURNALIST:

Chris, what does it mean for you being able to film this at home, being close to your family? What do you think it says about, you know, Australian film, this investment?

 

CHRIS HEMSWORTH:

Look we're just discussing this before it- for a lot of years, my goal has been to shoot more here and more often. And having had such a wonderful experience on Ragnarok that sort of solidified that need and want and passion. But there is just such an incredible work ethic here and then I think the enthusiasm especially since we haven't shot a lot of films here for a few years now. International films of this size, there's a different energy again. Being able to stay home and put the kids to bed in their own home as opposed to dragging them across the globe to various hotels. As a parent, hugely important. My wife’s certainly happy, she's planted and I'm very family here in Australia. A lot of the scripts are right now, you know I look at film maker, story but location is kind of the top of the list. So very, very thankful and happy to have this opportunity again.

 

JOURNALIST:

What can you tell us about the storyline for this one, anything?

 

CHRIS HEMSWORTH:

Not much.

 

DAVID GRANT:

Nothing.

 

CHRIS HEMSWORTH:

And I'll be giving that answer until the film comes out because it's all very top secret at Marvel but they're in the middle of it all now.

 

DAVID GRANT:

It was only last week we announced the titles.

 

JOURNALIST:

We’ve seen Avengers: Endgame become the highest grossing film. Are you hoping that Thor can do the same?

 

CHRIS HEMSWORTH:

I hope that on every film.

[Laughter]

It's kind- it is an interesting feeling after Endgame because it was like, where do you go from there? And you know, it’s just about making great films, and to still be a part of the Marvel Disney family and be able to make another film is pretty fantastic.

 

DAVID GRANT:

You've shed a bit of weight since Endgame?

 

CHRIS HEMSWORTH:

I have yeah, yeah. So it will be interesting to see what happens with Thor in this film. Where his [indistinct].

 

DAVID GRANT:

How do you lose that build, beer belly, you had quite a nice beer belly?

 

CHRIS HEMSWORTH:

Yeah. A lot of running.

 

JOURNALIST:

How is it working with Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson again?

 

CHRIS HEMSWORTH: 

It's gonna be fantastic. I've worked with Tessa since Ragnarok, on Endgame, and also Men in Black, and that was fantastic and I haven't seen Natalie- I've seen her at award shows and things, but I haven’t been on a set with her for a long time. And we all met up at Comic Con and she can't wait and really loves it here as well. She's just recently did a trip here.

 

JOURNALIST:

She's a female Thor, yeah?

 

CHRIS HEMSWORTH:

I’ll be the male Thor. I think I don’t know yet.

 

DAVID GRANT:

That’s all we’re able to share at this point guys.

 

JOURNALIST:

Chris, this film’s being brought here through federal government and state government funding initiatives. How important is it for you to sort of have that support of the Australian Government and could they do more even to entice more films here?

 

CHRIS HEMSWORTH:

Hugely important for all the reasons we were discussing before, just about my own personal love for shooting here. I think you know the industry gets such a such a boost when we're able to bring more and more films here. And I remember back when I was on Home and Away and there was there was a lot of films going on then and you know speaking with people on Home and Away and actors were all having to go elsewhere to get work. And so it's so exciting that it looks like there's you know more and more of this happening.

 

JOURNALIST:

Minister Harwin, a lot of these films are being filmed in Victoria. What’s it like now that we get it in New South Wales?

 

DON HARWIN:

Well, New South Wales is an increasingly competitive place thanks to some of the recent initiatives we've made within made in New South Wales fund and the PDV initiative. We've always had 60 per cent of the film industry here. We're determined to keep it an increase it.

 

JOURNALIST:

On that note, Minister Fletcher, we've seen Queensland over the past decades for huge productions and essentially punch above its weight relative to New South Wales. Is going to be potentially more investment shaping out among the States or do you see a little bit of [indistinct] plan across Australia?

 

PAUL FLETCHER:

Well the point I'd make is that the $140 million grant program that we announced out of which this 24 million is being provided, as well as the earlier announcement by my predecessor minister Fifield, is achieving its intended effect in bringing productions to Australia. We welcome the fact that state governments are also contributing significant funding. I'm delighted that the New South Wales Government has part of partnered with the Australian Government and of course with Marvel and Disney to bring this production here. But as an Australian Government minister what I want to see is a vigorous thriving film industry and opportunities being taken up for Australian crew and Australian film professionals across all elements of the industry and in as many places as possible all around Australia. But of course it is worth making the point this facility here at Fox Studios is a very impressive world class facility and I think we're seeing a very powerful endorsement of that by decision being made by Disney and Marvel.

 

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