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Gold Coast gets another piece of the action as Howard arrives for blockbuster

Arts

It may soon be “Happy Days” for Queensland’s screen industry, with Ron Howard set to lead a post-strike comeback for big budget Gold Coast productions.

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The Academy Award-winning director will on Monday start filming his latest star-studded project on the tourist strip, survival thriller Eden.

The Queensland government are confident it will mean “lights, camera, action” for the return of large-scale Gold Coast productions following the recent writer and actor strikes.

The Gold Coast will double as the Galapagos Islands for feature film Eden which stars Jude Law, Blonde’s Ana de Armas, English actor Vanessa Kirby, Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Daniel Bruhl and Sydney Sweeney of The White Lotus.

It will mark Mr Howard’s second movie in Queensland following last year’s release Thirteen Lives, about the 2018 rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from flooded Thai caves.

The acclaimed director and one-time fresh-faced star of 1970s sitcom favourite Happy Days will get cameras rolling at Village Roadshow Studios in what looks set to be a sign of things to come.

Production has already resumed for Karl Urban vehicle Mortal Kombat 2 on the Gold Coast while How to Make Gravy, an adaptation of Paul Kelly’s classic song, has also started following the strikes.

The Queensland government said there was $28 million allocated for this financial year alone to attract more large scale productions.

In the meantime Imagine Entertainment’s Eden is set to generate $26.5 million for the Queensland economy and create more than 300 local jobs.

“I have always been impressed with the professionalism and creative spirit of the Australian film community,” A Beautiful Mind director Mr Howard said.

“My experience with our Queensland crew on Thirteen Lives only confirmed that and more.

“I’m thrilled with the opportunity to bring Eden to Queensland and continue the collaboration.”

The Eden project was secured by the Queensland government via Screen Queensland’s Production Attraction Strategy (PAS), supported by the federal government’s Location Incentive.

“Ron Howard’s return to Queensland reinforces our state’s renowned reputation as a destination of choice for the world’s leading filmmakers,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Since 2015, PAS has secured 59 productions for Queensland that have contributed more than $2 billion to the local economy and created more than 20,000 jobs.

Among the Gold Coast movies secured by PAS are Thor Ragnarok, Aquaman and Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis.

Almost 30 per cent of all scripted feature films and series across broadcast, streaming and online platforms were made in Queensland in the past financial year.

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