Belfast is playing host to Netflix, with the announcement that the streaming entertainment service is starting production on a new fantasy film in the studios owned by Belfast Harbour.
Filming is getting underway on The School of Good and Evil, based on a best-selling series of young adult fantasy novels by Soman Chainani.
The story follows a group of girls and boys who are taken to an institution and trained to become fairy tale-like heroes and villains.
The bulk of the production will be shot in Northern Ireland and is being directed by Paul Feig, who has an established Hollywood career previously directing the recent Ghostbusters and Spy movies.
Confirming the new production at the £20m Belfast Harbour Studios, director Paul Feig said: “I am absolutely thrilled to get to shoot The School for Good and Evil at Belfast Harbour.
This is a challenging film to mount and their facilities offer us everything we need and so much more for a production of this size.
Belfast Harbour is planning a £45m extension to the current studios located at Giant’s Park on the north foreshore.
Welcoming the new production, Chairman of Belfast Harbour David Dobbin said: “We have recently secured planning approval for a major extension to our studios and this news reinforces our confidence that high quality studio space will continue to be in demand due to the ever-increasing requirement to provide viewers with fresh new content.”
Richard Williams, CEO of Northern Ireland Screen, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Paul Feig to Northern Ireland to film The School for Good and Evil for another global player like this to choose Belfast as its base is a great start to the new year, and a real vote of confidence in Northern Ireland’s screen industry and further cements our reputation as a leading centre for film and television production.”
The filming of the new movie is expected to support 350 jobs, including in set building and make-up.
The production will be following strict Covid guidelines and is scheduled to last seven months.