Entertainment circles are abuzz with what hot new projects could be filmed at Auckland Showgrounds after the Weekend Herald revealed last week an apparent lease agreement between X3 Studios and the Cornwall Park Trust Board.
The production company already runs state-of-the-art studios in Wiri, which opened two years ago. The Greenlane space would give the company a second location to meet demand for the growing international filming industry in Auckland. There are several filming studios in West Auckland that are currently mostly used by local production houses.
It's understood that X3 Wiri has Netflix's Sweet Tooth currently filming there.
That could pave the way for the showgrounds to become the home of US High School show One of Us is Lying, which is due to start filming its second season soon.
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X3 boss Harry Harrison did not return Spy's call. But One of Us is Lying executive producer Matt Groesch told Spy the production used the showgrounds for filming interior and exterior shots of the school last year.
"Filming is coming up soon. It's exciting! The cast is just starting to arrive in Auckland. Unfortunately, I don't have any info on using the ASB [Showgrounds] yet … There might be other productions going in there, so I'm still waiting on more info too," he said.
There is industry speculation another Netflix production is soon to be filmed in New Zealand that may be a good fit at X3 Greenlane — and there are whispers a Taika Waititi production might make use of the space too.
After lockdowns, our international filming industry is set to thrive again. Last month, David Strong, CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission talked to US entertainment bible Variety magazine before he left for Los Angeles. The publication described him as an in-demand man to meet in Hollywood, primarily because of the successful run of The Power of the Dog, ahead of the Oscars.
"We have a number of really big films that are interested in coming down here," Strong told Variety. "The first question to us is around studio space and what studios we have available. We're fortunate that the Government has put some money in traditional studio space and there's been some pretty big private investment to bring new soundstages and studio spaces online."