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Fifty Shades and Maze Runner sequels prep Vancouver filming

Sequels to the erotic drama Fifty Shades of Grey and the next in the young-adult Maze Runner franchise are preparing for months of filming in Vancouver.

Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed will film in the city back-to-back with James Foley directing returning stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan (pictured). Filming starts in early February and runs through to mid-July.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure is the third in the Maze Runner franchise. The films have followed the most generous filming incentives across North America, with the first instalment shot in Louisiana and the second in New Mexico. The new movie films in Vancouver from March through to June.

Also filming in Vancouver is War for the Planet of the Apes, which is scheduled to wrap in mid-March after a five-month shoot. The film is the third in the rebooted franchise, which stars Andy Serkis as ape leader Caesar and realises the animals using motion-capture technology.

Vancouver is one of the main Canadian production hubs and in recent years has been one of California’s main North American competitors. 

The Planet of the Apes franchise is in fact set in and around San Francisco, but production has taken place mainly in Vancouver. British Columbia’s stronger filming incentives include a 33% tax credit for local labour costs, which is a crucial element of the province’s international appeal.

California boosted its own filming incentives last year, but its enhanced programme strongly favours television and so its appeal to big-budget movie production is still limited in the short-term. 

For more on filming in British Columbia see our production guide.

Image: Chuck Zlotnick/Universal Pictures