James Cameron backs controversial proposed UK film studio located in Buckinghamshire

James Cameron
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A proposed film studio planned for Buckinghamshire, UK has sparked controversy among locals, but Piranha II director James Cameron has provided his backing for the project.

A major new UK film studio, targeting a tract of land in Buckinghamshire, has been backed by filmmaker James Cameron.

Marlow Film Studios has proven to be a controversial project so far; its proposed location on a former quarry next to the A404 near the small town of Marlow has led local councillors to argue that the development would cause traffic problems and damage green belt land.

Buckinghamshire Council failed to reach a decision on the proposals in October 2023, meaning a pivotal vote on the project has been deferred to this year. Ahead of that vote, Cameron – known for the 1981 smash Piranha II: The Spawning and his screenplay for Rambo: First Blood Part II – has written to Buckinghamshire Council, recommending that it waves through the proposed studio.

According to the Financial Times (via Deadline), Cameron wrote in his letter that Marlow Film Studios will help grow an already rapidly-expanding British movie and TV industry. “Embracing that opportunity necessitates support and boldness in thinking,” Cameron wrote. “The next iteration of screen storytelling requires a purpose-built working space of exceptional quality, and trained professionals.”

The studio’s developers have said that the finished studio would create 4,000 jobs, and argue that the site’s location, roughly 14 miles from Pinewood Studios and 28 miles from Shepperton, make it well-situated in terms of transport links. Taking up some 36 hectares, the studio would be one of the biggest of its kind in the UK, with multiple sound stages and some 168,000 square feet of space for production facilities.

The developer behind it, Dido Property, has added proposed upgrades to local infrastructure in order to get the £750m project greenlit; there are also plans to plant trees and make other improvements to the site in order to assuage fears that the studio harm biodiversity in the area.

Cameron, meanwhile, has suggested that Marlow Film Studios could become the venue for Lightstorm3D, his visual effects company.

Marlow Film Studios isn’t the only major production facility in the works. There’s a £450m studio planned for Sunderland, which will take in 20 sound stages, while Stirling Studios, a 200,000 square foot facility in Scotland, is also currently being built.

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