Warner Bros. Discovery Announces Major Expansion for DC Studios at Leavesden Studios.
In a strategic move, Warner Bros. Discovery is set to significantly amplify its production capabilities at Leavesden Studios, establishing it as the central hub for DC Studios projects. The renowned studio, located just outside central London, unveiled plans to introduce ten new cutting-edge soundstages and an additional 400,000 square feet of production and auxiliary facilities. Anticipated to commence construction in the second quarter of 2024, the expansion is slated for completion in 2027.
Upon completion, Leavesden Studios will boast an impressive 29 stages and an expansive 1.78 million square feet of production space. The co-chief executives of DC Studios, James Gunn and Peter Safran, will offer their expertise as consultants for this ambitious project. Noteworthy recent productions at this location include "Barbie," "House of the Dragon," and the eagerly awaited DC feature film, "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom."
Simon Robinson, Chief Operating Officer of Warner Bros. Discovery, expressed enthusiasm about the expansion, stating, "Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden is globally recognized for its exceptional soundstages and facilities, and with this planned expansion adding significant capacity and capabilities, it will be home to even more incredible storytelling for both film and television projects. We are proud to be growing our productions in Leavesden and making it the main hub for DC Studios and growing our economic and community contributions to the U.K.’s creative sector."
The U.K. has emerged as a prominent center for studios and streaming platforms, propelled by advantageous tax incentives and its proximity to a vast talent pool. In 2019, production revenue reached an all-time high of $4.7 billion. However, the availability of studio space has struggled to keep pace with demand, though this concern was alleviated to some extent when content spending decreased last year.
In March, the British government announced increased financial incentives to entice production further. Under this restructuring, films and high-end TV projects will benefit from a 34 percent expenditure credit, superseding the previous 25 percent tax rebate model. Notable TV series shot in Britain include "The Crown" and "Peaky Blinders."
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, commended Warner Bros. Discovery's ambitious expansion plan, stating, "Warner Bros. Discovery’s ambitious plan to grow its Leavesden studio is a huge vote of confidence in the U.K. — creating thousands of jobs and growing our economy — and means that British-made entertainment will continue to delight and entertain global audiences."
Warner Bros. Discovery envisions that this expansion will create 4,000 new jobs across the U.K. and bolster WBSL’s contribution to the economy by over £200 million. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt visited the lot to meet with Simon Robinson and Dan Dark, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Studio Operations, as confirmed by sources familiar with the meeting.