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Disney will roll in the UK

The UK film industry, which has lost some of its lustre in recent years, will soon get a massive boost as Disney will be making more blockbusters at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire after signing a deal to take over most of the complex for at least a decade. Pinewood Studios are about 20 miles west of London.

The film and TV giant behind the Star Wars, Marvel and Avatar movies will lease 20 stages plus other facilities. Pinewood is famously the home of James Bond, not a Disney franchise - throwing 007's future at the site into question.

The deal comes two months after Netflix announced it had taken a long-term lease at Pinewood's Shepperton Studios.

Disney is the biggest force in the film world, taking almost four times as much at the global box office as its nearest rivals in the first half of 2019.

Recently, it has shot films like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and Mary Poppins Returns at Pinewood. From next year, it will have near-exclusive use of the UK's most famous studio complex. In fact, it will have the whole site except three TV studios and an underwater stage.

Disney hasn't commented on the deal. But with studio space at a premium, this gives them the security of a long-term dedicated UK base capable of handling their biggest films.

"They've been making great films with us for many years and the fact they want to shoot so many more here is testimony not only to the quality of the teams and infrastructure at Pinewood, but also to the British film industry as a whole," said Pinewood Group chairman Paul Golding.

The deal also squeezes Disney's competitors out - non-Disney films to have been shot there in recent years include Rocketman, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Mary Queen of Scots and On Chesil Beach. But existing studio bookings with other film companies will be honoured.

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