Chan eyes Rotorua for film (+ video)

Martial arts movie legend Jackie Chan is tipped to be headed for Rotorua to shoot a big-budget movie.

Rotorua company Film Volcanic revealed last week it was negotiating with producers planning a movie with an $80 million budget and featuring A-list actors.

Spokeswoman Christene Leaf would not reveal who was involved in the project but said the movie could boost Rotorua's economy and international profile.

A Rotorua District Council agenda prepared for yesterday's finance committee meeting revealed Jackie Chan's Hong Kong production company had been negotiating with Film Volcanic and Film New Zealand.

Production managers, directors and assistants visited Rotorua in January scouting locations, according to the agenda.

It us understood that Hong Kong director Frankie Chan was in Rotorua late last month looking at locations with members of his production team.

He was taken to sites in and around Rotorua, Lake Tarawera and White Island on January 17 and 18 by members of Film Volcanic.

Destination Rotorua Tourism and Marketing general manager Don Gunn said a hit movie filmed in Rotorua would be a great way to promote the region, just as the Lord of the Rings did for New Zealand in 2001.

"Should it come here it will be great but not just for tourism," he said.

"Opportunities would exist for film crew, set designers and everything else involved with the movie industry."

The Tom Cruise movie The Last Samurai, filmed in Taranaki, was estimated to have injected $50 million into that region's economy.


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