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Pacific Rim 2 to film at Chinese studio

Pacific RimPacific Rim: Maelstrom, the sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 sci-fi fantasy Pacific Rim, will film scenes in China and in Australia.

The first film was set in the near future and followed Earth’s efforts to battle giant invading monsters by building huge robot sentinels controlled by human pilots. Filming was based at Pinewood Toronto Studios.

Earlier this year, China’s Wanda Film Group bought a controlling stake in Pacific Rim’s production company Legendary Entertainment, which appears to have been a major factor in bringing the sequel to China.

Del Toro is a producer on the new film but hands directing duties to Steven S DeKnight.

The movie will reportedly shoot scenes at Wanda’s Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis in eastern China, a major new production centre that is not scheduled to fully open until 2018 but which will have facilities available this year for the Pacific Rim sequel, according to China Film Insider.

China is making greater efforts to invest in Hollywood film production in a bid to spread its soft power around the world and to enable its own crews to build their experience of big-budget filmmaking.

The American studios are responding by investing more heavily in Chinese-language productions to get a larger slice of the country’s box office, rather than focussing so much on trying to film US productions on location in China.

Historical drama The Great Wall recently became the biggest US-China co-production in history, filming entirely in China but in English with a cast of American and Chinese talent led by Matt Damon.     

For more on filming in China see our production guide.

Image: Warner Bros Pictures