actor Matthew Fox is coming to Auckland to star in a new movie that has been called a major coup for the local film industry and the city.

The 45-year-old will play the lead role in Emperor, a film based on post-World War Two Japan. Filming begins at film studios in Henderson this month.

Emperor will be the first major production filmed at the West Auckland facility since Auckland Council Investments (ACIL) took control of the studios last year.


Fox - who played a major role in the worldwide hits Lost and Party of Five and was once named in the 50 Most Beautiful People In The World list - will play General Bonner Fellers.

The film is described as a political drama based on fact, set among the tensions and uncertainties following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II.

ACIL chief executive Gary Swift said the casting of Fox was fantastic. "What it shows is films like this coming to New Zealand, they're not just coming for the scenery. They're coming here because it's a fantastic place to make films."

Having the production here was a major coup. It would create many jobs locally and pump money into the domestic economy, Mr Swift said.

Kiwis already involved in the project include production designer Grant Major and costume designer Ngila Dickson - both of whom have won Oscars - Academy Award cinematography nominee Stuart Dryburgh and Mr Pip producer Tim Coddington.