Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn spinoff, “Birds of Prey,” has become the latest high-profile movie to be selected for a state tax credit for filming in California.
The California Film Commission revealed that 19 feature films had been chosen for tax credits totaling $52.2 million. “Birds of Prey,” a DC Comics movie with Robbie reprising her Harley Quinn character, is due to receive the largest allocation, at $12.6 million. The Cathy Yan film is on track to spend nearly $63 million in state on qualified expenditures.
“We are excited to be awarded an incentive from the California Film & TV Tax Credit Program, which will allow us to produce ‘Birds of Prey’ in the Golden State,” said Warner Bros. Pictures’ senior vice president Kelley Smith-Wait. “The project will have a large footprint and create hundreds of new jobs for women and men in our industry.”
Gary Oldman’s historical biopic “Flying Horse” is receiving a $5 million allocation, the third-largest of those announced on Monday. Oldman is producing, directing from his own script, and portraying 19th century photographer Eadweard Muybridge.
“Everyone knows incentives are a critical part of the industry these days, as we all find ourselves seeking and comparing the best options available for each film,” Oldman said. “Without the state’s tax credit program and support from the California Film Commission, the Governor and our lawmakers, it is a certainty that we would not be able to shoot this essential California story in California. My colleagues and I are simply thrilled for the opportunity to bring this story home.”
Other allocations announced on Monday include Universal’s “Covers” for $6.5 million, Warner Bros.’ Ben Affleck drama “The Has Been” for $4.8 million, Universal’s “The Hunt” for $3.7 million, Fox’s “Rent – Live” for $2.7 million, and an untitled Charles Randolph production for $2.5 million, in which California will double for New York and New Jersey. Two other pics receiving allocations — “Bullet” (originally set in Philadelphia) and “Head” (originally set in New Jersey) — will have their storylines revised to be set in California.
This is the first round of films selected for the fourth year of California’s Film & TV Tax Credit Program 2.0. The tax credit covers up to 25% of a film’s budget and has previously included “Captain Marvel,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” “Bumblebee,” “Call of the Wild,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Ford v. Ferrari,” and “Coming 2 America.”
The program more than tripled in size in 2014 to $330 million annually, to compete effectively with incentives in New York and Georgia. It’s overseen by the California Film Commission, which selects TV shows and movies partly based on the number of jobs they create. On June 27, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an extension of California’s production tax credit program for five years beyond its 2020 expiration, with a total of $1.6 billion in credits.
The commission announced earlier this month that the NBC comedy “Good Girls” and Horizon Scripted Television’s “You” are relocating to California for their upcoming seasons and have been conditionally approved to receive a combined $15.4 million in tax credits. A total of 15 series have relocated to the Golden State, thanks to the incentive, including Amazon’s “Sneaky Pete,” FX’s “Legion,” and HBO’s “Ballers.”
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