Belfast Telegraph

Lucasfilm opens London division

Lucasfilm is set to open a UK special effects division which will work on the next instalment of Star Wars.

The Hollywood Reporter said that Industrial Light And Magic, the visual effects side of Lucasfilm, a Walt Disney subsidiary, is expanding.

As well as Star Wars: Episode VII, directed by JJ Abrams, its 200 staff will also work on other films produced in the UK, including Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

Disney bought George Lucas' studio and its various divisions for 4.05 billion dollars (£2.44 billion) two years ago.

ILM president and general manager Lynwen Brennan told The Hollywood Reporter that the new facility, in London's Soho, will be "a full service studio" with an "end-to-end visual effects and computer graphics pipeline".

"ILM will be working on not only Lucasfilm projects, Disney projects and Marvel projects but [productions] for other studios as well," he said.

"London has such a richness of filmmakers. The team that we are building there has those relationships, so we are looking forward to the London studio really developing their local work."

He added: "We needed to expand, and London is a key place to find great (visual effects) talent. We also want to work with UK-based directors, there's a lot of filmmaking going on in the UK. And, the government has invested in the industry there."

Star Wars: Episode VII is set for release in December 2015, while the new Avengers film is expected to hit the big screen in May of that year.

Industrial Light And Magic's projects also include Jurassic World, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tomorrowland, Warcraft, and Angelina Jolie's Unbroken.

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