Hollywood Blockbusters To Come To Birmingham

Steven Knight plans to bring the biggest Hollywood movies to Birmingham with a determined proposal for SIX film studios.

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Peaky Blinders creator, Steven Knight is drawing up plans for a studio compound at the NEC to entice leading producers to the area, however the plans are still at the early stages.

The Brummie writer is working alongside Birmingham City Council and other developers on the arrangement, saying that “there is no film too big for the city”.

He wishes to see the scheme breathe new life into the regions declining broadcasting sector, bringing in special effects, post-production and animation companies, as well as a new tourist attraction for film enthusiasts.

Mr Knight said: “It will be a big deal if and when it happens – and I think it will happen.

“I am very bullish about this. The industry needs a big film studio outside London because everything is backed up and the big productions need space.

“Our plans, along with the council and others who have to remain unnamed, are to set up six purpose-built studios at the NEC which would be both for film and television, but mostly for film. It is really aimed at larger productions.”

Mr Knight has held meetings with production titan, Paramount about a studio called “Mercian” to be developed in Birmingham.

His ambitious plans may well put the region back on the broadcasting map, in around two and a half years, as per the Brummie writer and director’s plans.

“We want to look at the whole piece of land and make it a real destination both for people who make films and people who want to be around film-making,” he revealed.

“Hopefully, it would have a halo effect on the wider area and you’d start to have the more high-tech side – post-production, animation, all of those things.

“A film studio can generate all those things, along with retail and restaurants which would hopefully then be attracted to the area. You would have a media centre which could attract in anyone – the Royal Shakespeare Company maybe, or the BBC.

“I think these are things that can be made to happen. There seems to be a strong will for it to happen.”

A romantic thriller, written by Mr Knight, is currently being filmed in the South East. He has said that the movie, featuring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, could have been transported to Birmingham if he had his way.

“If I had anything to do with it, it would have, because I would have urged the producers to consider it. Birmingham is ideal because it is so accessible to London.

“In terms of the time and costs, this is a good place to be, but also there is the city itself. Talent can stay in Birmingham – there are plenty of great places to live and things to do here.

“It is a vibrant living city and once people get used to the idea of something like this in Birmingham, it will really go places.

“For big film production, the studios need to be bigger and higher, which this would be. It would be the first purpose-built studio built for a very long time.”

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