Netflix has confirmed plans to create a UK production hub at the UK’s world-famous Shepperton studios – the latest chapter in its global expansion.
The lease deal gives the streaming giant a major presence on a site which occupies an illustrious place in cinema history – turning out blockbusters including Ridley Scott’s Alien, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Mary Poppins Returns.
It comes at a time when Netflix’s vast multi-billion dollar content budget is challenging the Hollywood studios which have dominated the global film industry for decades.
Netflix, which will rent the hub from owner Pinewood Group, made the announcement two days earlier than expected after details were first reported by Sky News.
Its hub at the Surrey studios will feature 14 sound stages as well as workshops and office space.
The deal will be seen as a major boost for the UK’s entertainment industry, paving the way for one of the world’s most prolific investors in original content to establish a long-term base in Britain.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said Britain’s “world class crews and studios” were making the country a global production destination of choice, adding that this was helped by the government’s creative sector tax reliefs.
He added: “Netflix’s long-term commitment is a welcome sign of confidence that a new golden age of screen is only just beginning.”
Netflix said the first original production at Shepperton would be The Old Guard, a film starring Charlize Theron.
The company said the announcement was part of a long-term commitment to the UK, with 25,000 cast, crew and extras having worked on almost 40 Netflix original and co-productions across Britain in the last year alone.
Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said: “Shepperton has been synonymous with world class film for nearly a century and it’s an important production hub for the UK creative community today.
“We’re incredibly proud to be part of that heritage.
“This investment will ensure that British creators and producers have first rate production facilities and a world stage for their work.”
Netflix, which earlier this year said it had more than 148 million subscribers globally, is well known for hit series such as The Crown and Black Mirror, as well as films including the multi-award winning Mexican drama Roma.