Just two years after opening, Warner Bros. has announced its plans to expand Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, building three new state-of-the-art stages and adding a further 100,000 square feet of office space. The Studio also revealed that its new Tarzan action adventure started shooting in the UK today and will film at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden and on location.
The announcements were made ahead of a reception celebrating the Creative Industries, hosted by PM David Cameron at No10 Downing Street and attended by Kevin Tsujihara, CEO, Warner Bros. and Josh Berger, President and Managing Director, Warner Bros. UK.
The expansion of Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden will see the construction of three new sound stages comprising one 35,000 square-foot and two 17,000 square foot buildings, with 20,000 square feet of adjacent office space. Work is set to be completed by the end of 2014, bringing the studios' total number of sound stages to 13.
Two new buildings located next to Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden have also been acquired, to grow the production office space by a further 105,000 square feet.
This is in addition to the opening, earlier in 2014, of an extra 50,000 square foot workshop space, a 62,500 square foot external tank, and another new 48,400 square foot sound stage.
Today in the UK, production began on a new Tarzan action adventure, starring Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz and directed by David Yates, director of the last four Harry Potter films. The film will join Warner Bros.' Pan, directed by Joe Wright, which has been filming at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, Cardington Studios and on location since 28th April 2014.
Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros., had this to say in a statement.
"Warner Bros. has produced some of our most popular and successful films in the UK, working with British talent. The expansion of Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden will allow us to further tap into the world-class creativity and innovation available here to continue this tradition of filmmaking excellence."
Josh Berger, President and Managing Director, Warner Bros. UK, also offered a statement.
"Today we reinforce once again our commitment to the UK creative industries - those that employ some of the most talented creatives in the world. We're proud to be investing in facilities and productions right across the UK's film, television, video games and theater businesses, and in the next generation of talent through our new program, Warner Bros. Creative Talent."
Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden opened in June 2012, becoming the first studio of its kind to be built in the UK in 70 years and the only facility outside of the US to be owned and operated by a Hollywood studio. The state-of-the-art studios currently represent over a third of the available film production stage space in the UK and have already played host to, among others, Edge of Tomorrow (directed by Doug Liman and starring Tom Cruise; $111m in global box office receipts in its opening weekend), Heart of the Sea (directed by Ron Howard) and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (directed by Guy Ritchie). The studios have also been home to TV productions, commercials and music videos.
This expansion and increased production activity is further evidence of Warner Bros.' long-term commitment to the UK creative industries, which, in addition to Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, has seen significant investment in Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter; in leading video games companies, Rocksteady Studios and TT Games; in post-production house, Warner Bros. De Lane Lea; in its first West End musical production, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; and in Warner Bros. Television Productions UK, following its recent acquisition of 100% of Shed Media.
As part of its growing UK presence, Warner Bros. believes it is critical to support the next generation of creative industries talent and has been helping to drive this effort via its major new programme of investment in skills and training, Warner Bros. Creative Talent. Nearing the end of its inaugural year, this multi-layered, nationwide investment encompasses scholarships with some of the UK's most respected higher education institutions, including three Prince William scholarships in partnership with BAFTA, apprenticeships ranging from set-lighting to post production, trainee positions on every Warner Bros. film production in the UK, training courses and work placements.