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Team Queensland opens the Door for another Gold Coast movie blockbuster

Culture

Team Queensland is taking a starring role in the latest major film production on the Gold Coast, leading the ever-increasing roll call of big-name blockbusters being filmed across the state.

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Christoph Waltz, Sam Neill, Patrick Gibson, Sophie Wilde, Miranda Otto, Rachel House, Chris Pang, Jessica DeGouw and Damon Herriman will star in a new feature film The Portable Door, announced today to begin filming on the Gold Coast.

The fantasy adventure comedy, including include a dazzling and bizarre array of characters including Sam Neill as a shape-shifting goblin, will be produced by Brisbane-based Todd Fellman from Story Bridge Films along with Lisa Henson and Blanca Lista from The Jim Henson Company.

Queenslander Jeffrey Walker, whose work includes TV shows Young Rock and Modern Family, will direct the movie. The Fellman-Walker duo at the helm of The Portable Door is a significant step in the evolution and maturity of the local film industry that has been elevated globally by its pandemic status of “new Hollywood.”

It signifies Queensland’s effective handling of the pandemic is no long the star driver of the filming action, rather the state is luring some of the world’s biggest productions and most famous stars on its own industry merits.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the two Queensland-based film creatives leading a production with the world-famous The Jim Henson Company showed the trend for local talent to step up amid the large-scale projects being made in the state.

“This is what it means to have a mature and booming screen industry in this state, with Queensland creatives at the helm, working in partnership with global production companies to make films for an international market,” Palaszczuk said.

A frenzy of major productions are being filmed in Queensland. The A-list production and movie star migration to Queensland includes Ron Howard’s Thirteen Lives that began in March on the Gold Coast, with the hinterland doubling for the film’s location of Thailand.

Actors Colin Farrell, 44, and Viggo Mortensen, 62, have been spotted on the Gold Coast this week ahead of their starring roles in the feature that tells the true story of the 2018 rescue of a boys soccer team from a Thai cave.

Thirteen Lives comes hot on the heels of Baz Luhrmann’s big-budget Elvis biopic that wrapped filming on the Gold Coast in March.

Incoming are Academy Award winners Julia Roberts and George Clooney who will begin filming of Universal Pictures’ Ticket to Paradise this year at the Gold Coast, Whitsundays, and Brisbane.

Filming is also underway at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast on the second series of young adult drama The Wilds, starring Rachel Griffiths, Mia Healey and Shannon Berry.

Fremantle Australia’s new teen series, Taylor’s Island, is also set to commence filming exclusively on the Gold Coast from July.

The Portable Door is another major boost for the Gold Coast, contributing around an $15 million and 200 jobs to the economy.

Fellman said the movie, based on the seven-book series by English author Tom Holt that centres on a university drop-out discovering his new employer is a front for a sinister organisation, was “a very ambitious Australian independent film”.

Fellman has just finished filming Black Site on the Good Coast, which was another American and Australian co-production. Back Site stars Mission: Impossible’s Michelle Monaghan along with Australia’s Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke and Uli Latukefu.

Fellman said the maturing industry and support from Screen Queensland made it exciting to film on the Gold Coast.

“They (Screen Queensland) have been a critical partner in helping us bring to the screen what we promise will be a wildly entertaining film that showcases our extraordinary local talent and finds its own unique place within the incredible world of The Jim Henson Company,” Fellman said.

 

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