Lionsgate, ArcLight Films Sign On to Shoot at Wanda's Qingdao Studio

The Hollywood Reporter

Wanda has big plans for it's Qingdao Movie Metropolis.

During Wanda's US-Sino Business Evening at the Los Angeles County Museum of the Arts, where Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin was on hand, the company revealed more details about the 408-acre mixed-use space.

The studio facilities will include 30 sound stages, including an advanced temperature-controlled underwater stage and the world's largest indoor stage. The studio is scheduled to officially open in August of 2018. Movies that film at Wanda's Qingdao Movie Metropolis facility will receive a new 40 percent rebate for film and TV projects that shoot at the facility. The rebate is co-funded by the Qingdao regional governments and Wanda.

Legendary/Universal's Pacific Rim: Maelstrom, the sequel to Guillermo Del Toro's monster movie Pacific Rim, will be the first U.S. production to shoot at the Qingdao studio. Announced today, Legendary/Warner Bros.' Godzilla 2, the follow-up to Gareth Edwards' Godzilla, will also shoot at the studio. 

Lionsgate and ArcLigtht Films have signed on to shoot at the studio, along with China Media Capital-backed Infinity Pictures, Arad Productions, Kylin Pictures, Base Media, Beijing Dirty Monkey Culture Industry Development and Juben Pictures.

The studio will be only one part of Wanda's planned Movie Metropolis.

A convention center, shopping mall, six resort hotel, four indoor theme parks, a marina, international schools, an international hospital, and Asia's largest cinema with 5300 seats will also be a part of the proposed metropolis. The idea is that the the mixed-use development will make Qingdao a home away from home for filmmakers, their crews and their families.

A sizzle reel for the Movie Metropolis was screened during the event, narrated by The Great Wall star Matt Damon.

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs were on hand to offer their support of Wanda and it's hefty film industry ambitions. Garcetti said that beginning in the Spring of 2017, there will be a direct flight from Los Angeles to Qingdao. Isaacs announced that Wanda would help to finance the long-delayed  Academy Museum, scheduled to open in 2018.

"This is an opportunity for Hollywood, not competition for Hollywood," reassured Jianlin at the end of his address.