Lionsgate has revealed that filming for the next The Punisher movie will begin in October via this press-release about the studio entering an agreement to film upcoming movies in Quebec:
As part of the continued growth of its television and motion picture production businesses, Lionsgate announced a four-year, $400 million filmed entertainment slate financing agreement with Societe generale de financement du Quebec (SGF), the provincial government's investment arm that has a $2 billion investment portfolio. As part of its continued effort to promote production of foreign films and television series in Quebec, SGF will finance up to 35% of production costs of television and feature film productions shot in Quebec for a four-year period for an aggregate investment of up to $140 million. The transaction will encompass a broad range of future Lionsgate television and feature film productions in the Province of Quebec, including the planned October 2007 production of Lionsgate's next The Punisher film, starring Ray Stevenson (from HBO's hit series Rome) and directed by Oscar nominee Lexi Alexander.
"We are delighted to partner with SGF in the financing of our growth," said Lionsgate Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer. "This transaction reflects our commitment to form innovative and cost-effective alliances to continue expanding our television and motion picture production."
"SGF is pleased to participate with Lionsgate in this exciting venture which will have a significant impact on Quebec's filmed entertainment industry," said SGF's Chairman of the Board, President and General Manager, Pierre Shedleur. "We anticipate the creation of more than 6,700 full-time equivalent jobs, generating total wages of $270 million".
Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, Raymond Bachand, saluted this key investment. "This investment will be highly beneficial for Quebec's filmed entertainment industry. Foreign productions are vital for the growth of this sector and for the continued development of the industry's workforce in Quebec."
Lionsgate noted that the agreement maintains its historic commitment to major production initiatives in Canada. Under the arrangement, SGF will finance up to 35% of the budgeted costs of television and feature film productions shot in Quebec. The announcement follows Lionsgate's May 2007 formation of a $400 million, 23-picture theatrical slate financing agreement led by Goldman, Sachs & Co., JP Morgan Chase and Jefferies & Co. as well as SGF's investment in the $212,5 million financing of Joel Silver's Dark Castle slate in 2006.
The Punisher 2 is expected to be released in the latter part of 2008.