On Thursday, I paid a second visit to the site of what will be the first US home of Pinewood Studios, and located in Fayetteville, Georgia, about 50 miles outside of Atlanta. The objective was to see how far construction on the facility had progressed. The answer: a fair degree!
When I first went over to the land at the intersection of Sandy Creek Road and Veterans Parkway, only two large walls were up, and that was for what will be the first sound stage of 30,000 square feet. Now, as of October 8th, it’s obvious that while workers have made progress on the first sound stage, they’ve started on the second one as well.
It’s also evident that construction workers have started on the creation of the internal road system that will connect all of the buildings and sound stages on what will be a 288 acre complex.
Pinewood Studios says that Pinewood Studios Atlanta Fayetteville will be a “a full service film and entertainment studio complex comprised of five sound stages. A world-class studio for the production of film, television, music and video games.”
It may also be the home of the next James Bond movie.
As I reported before…
Pinewood Studios purchased the rights to produce the next Star Wars film, directed by J.J. Abrams, at its main home in South Buckinghamshire, England. To handle that, and other movies like MARVEL’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, Pinewood needed extra space at what’s called “South Bucks.” To that end, the iconic studios known for being the site of the production of all but two James Bond movies, filed an application for expansion.
Much to what has to have been Pinewood’s surprise, what is called the “town council” (equivalent to a city council or ward alderman here in America) rejected it, and not once, but twice this year.
This has put a crimp in the production plans for movies slated to be made in South Buckinghamshire, England, including the next James Bond film, currently called “Bond 24” and scheduled to start production in the Fall 2014, for a 2015 release.
Pinewood let the word out that James Bond may not be made there or in England for the first time in 26 years, or when License To Kill was made.
Oh, and here’s the current James Bond stage at Pinewood:
At the time, some in the UK believed Pinewood Studios was just saber-rattling, but the progress of Pinewood Studios Atlanta makes the studio’s threat to move the production of Bond 24 very real. And because of that, Pinewood is running into what’s said to be South Buck’s famous, and long-standing case of NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard) when it comes to the protection of its greenbelt.
And that’s where Pinewood Shepperton wants to go.
So while Pinewood’s set to have another go at the South Bucks town council and a public inquiry into its expansion request in November, and just less than a month away, it’s expanding by adding studios in Fayetteville, and has just opened three new ones at its current operation in Toronto, the largest of its kind in Canada.
Will the town council of South Bucks give Pinewood Shepperton what it wants?
Will James Bond, or at least a portion of its production, wind-up at Pinewood Studios Atlanta Fayetteville GA?