16 Jun – With the collaboration between the renowned British film studio, the Pinewood Studios Group and Malaysia's investment holding arm, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Malaysia's largest studio facility, Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios (PIMS) has been officially launched by the ruler of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.
Datuk Mohd Badlisham Ghazali, the Director of PIMS said that prior to the launch, the studio had closed a deal with The Weinstein Company for the filming of TV series, "Marco Polo".
"The 10-episode series featuring battle scenes and historical drama will make its debut in the United States in the fourth quarter of this year. It will witness a local spending of RM100 million," said the PIMS Director.
He also said that the studios would enable Malaysia to gain benefit from Pinewood's high reputation and respected network in the U.S. and Europe, making Malaysia a major film and TV production destination to be reckoned with.
According to Bernama, the studio is expected to contribute up to RM1.8 billion in terms of local spending and create up to 1,700 freelance jobs for Malaysians over the next eight years.
PIMS Director further mentioned, "Our world-class integrated facility will shape the Iskandar region and Malaysia into an international production environment for multimedia and the inflow of international production will attract the relocation of many world-class media companies to Malaysia,"
Aside from that, Pinewood CEO Ivan Dunleavy told the Press, "You have a U.K. studio in Malaysia with Weinstein as the production company with Netflix as the distribution platform – I think that says it all about the new world."
Creator and executive producer or "Marco Polo", John Fusco also cited that one of the reasons the Weinstein Company was able to become the first production to utilise the new Pinewood Studios is because of the wonderful facility and Malaysia's friendly weather.