Warner Bros. Buys Into UK Production Facility

By Richard Horgan Comment

For a long time now, the Hollywood industry skein has been a tale of two kitties. While much of the TV production has remained in Los Angeles, feature film have decamped to all corners of the U.S. and beyond.

The latest confirmation of this trend comes courtesy of a newswire pick-up by Claudia Eller and Richard Verrier at the LA Times “Company Town” blog. Warner Bros., a studio that has been heavily involved in a UK production facility near Watford, is buying the compound and making further investments that will result in two new soundstages, a Harry Potter museum and an estimated 300 additional non-LA jobs.

Leavesden Studios, the site of a former Rolls-Royce factory, has 500,000 square feet. In addition to the Potter films, which have shot there since 2000, it has hosted numerous major Hollywood productions, including portions of Warner Bros.’ recent release Inception, as well as The Dark Knight and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

No one is going to fault Warner Bros. for shooting all eight Harry Potter films in Merry Old England. But Batman and Willy Wonka?! That’s pushing it.