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Disney wins largest California filming incentive

Selma on locationDisney movie A Wrinkle in Time has been awarded the biggest California filming incentive since the state tax credit fund was more than tripled in 2014.

The film will bring $85m in qualified spending to California and will get tax credit support of a little over $18m.  

A Wrinkle in Time is based on the 1963 fantasy novel of the same name by Madeleine L’Engle and tells a story spanning multiple planets throughout the universe.

The film will be directed by Ava DuVernay and stars Oprah Winfrey, marking a reunion for the pair following their work together on the civil rights drama Selma (pictured). 

It is only in the last two years that California’s filming tax credit has been expanded to support productions with budgets over $75m. 

“The California tax credit made it possible to base production in California,” said Jim Whitaker, the film’s producer. 

“We considered several other locations, but felt that the spectacular landscapes and intimate, real settings found in California perfectly met Ava DuVernay’s directorial vision for A Wrinkle in Time. The entire crew is incredibly excited as we all appreciate the ability to come home to our families at night.”

Much of A Wrinkle in Time will be filmed outside Los Angeles’ so-called 30-Mile Zone, named for the distance LA-based crew can reasonably travel for a day’s production without needing overnight accommodation.

The decision suggests much of the movie will be shot on location rather than on sound stages.

HollywoodBringing A Wrinkle in Time to California marks a change for Disney, which has filmed its live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast in the UK and has similar plans for a sequel to Mary Poppins.

The new Star Wars movies have been UK-based as well through subsidiary Lucasfilm. Disney also owns superhero brand Marvel Studios, which has been a repeat visitor to Atlanta. 

California has found fresh appeal as a filming location since its tax credit was boosted but the support programme is focussed on television.

Big-budget studio features still chase stronger incentive support in Louisiana, Georgia and New York, and internationally in Canada and the UK.

Other high-profile features to have now secured incentive support from California include a high-profile remake of Hollywood classic A Star Is Born, which could mark Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut.

For more on filming in California see our production guide.

Selma image: Paramount Pictures