THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, based on the popular book of the same name by C.S. Lewis, will begin production in New Zealand in early 2004, industry development minister Jim Anderton said in a statement. New Zealand-native Andrew Adamson, co-director of the Oscar-winning SHREK, will be directing the live-action film. The production will use stage space and personnel in Auckland.
Anderton said the decision was "a vote of confidence in our country as a location for film and screen production. This is very positive news because it means more opportunities for New Zealanders to learn new skills and find employment in an exciting and creative industry."
The film will be one of the first productions to take advantage of the Large Budget Screen Production Grant (LBSPG), which was announced in June 2003. Much like grants in Canada, LBSPG gives expense grants to movies filmed in New Zealand that use New Zealanders on the productions.