'Bahraini Bond' battles building backlog

Film on hold following failure to find site for new Bahrain studios.
Statham headed for Gulf?
Statham headed for Gulf?

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 PRODUCTION of an action-spy movie to be partially filmed in Bahrain has been delayed.

The rescheduling is due to delays in plans to set up a 20,000sqm film studio and academy in Bahrain to tap into the emerging Gulf market. The Bahrain Film Studio and Academy was due to be built by the end of the year, but a suitable location has still not been earmarked. It has forced London-based Twickenham Films and its sister company Oasis Films to push filming of film Bulldog Drummond: Hero for Hire until next year.

The company, which is the production arm of Twickenham Film Group, has been re-branded and is now called Gulf Atlantic Studios with its production arm called Gulf Atlantic Pictures. It earlier said the project will also include a film student exchange programme with Wales.

It has also been working with Bahrain's Economic Development Board (EDB) to develop a tax rebate scheme for production companies wishing to film in the country. "We are scheduling to shoot the Gulf scenes of Bulldog Drummond: Hero for Hire next year in Bahrain, with the UK scenes being shot prior. The film will be marked for a 2015 release," said Gulf Atlantic Pictures executive producer James Black.

"In the meantime, my production associate in Bahrain, David Hollywood is working full speed with the EDB in order to create the Gulf Atlantic Pictures production facility as soon as possible. We are proposing to the government to create a film tax rebate similar to those that already exist in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Qatar. Film rebates which exist in many countries around the world are what attract film makers to the country."

Mr Black added that the 20 per cent rebate offered to film makers in the UK, and the 30 per cent currently available in Abu Dhabi should be taken as examples.

Bulldog Drummond appeared in 20 novels following his 1920 print debut. More than 20 films about the character, considered a forerunner to Ian Fleming’s James Bond, were made between 1920 and the 1960s and he also featured in his own radio show in the 40s. Jason Statham is currently being lined up to take on the role in the new reboot.

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