Pinewood Group, maker of James Bond films, parts ways with Iskandar Malaysia

Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios officially opened in 2014 and was first used for the production of the original Netflix series ‘Marco Polo’. — Screengrab from YouTube
Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios officially opened in 2014 and was first used for the production of the original Netflix series ‘Marco Polo’. — Screengrab from YouTube

KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 — The collaboration between famed British recording studio Pinewood Group and Iskandar Malaysia Studios (IMS) that created a multi-million ringgit, giant 100,000 square feet movie-making facility in Johor has ended after 10 years.

Pinewood said their partnership ended by mutual agreement.

“Pinewood Group’s collaboration with IMS comes to a close by mutual agreement, following a 10-year partnership where Pinewood provided consultancy, brand and marketing services.

“With the initial objectives of the collaboration achieved — including the development of the Studios in Malaysia — both parties will now focus on the next phase of their respective businesses,” the British studio famous for the James Bond movie franchise said in a statement on its website.

It added that the joint venture known as Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios is now known as Iskandar Malaysia Studios effective yesterday.

The studio in Johor was Pinewood’s only Asian filmmaking facility and was borne from an agreement with sovereign investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Berhad with the aim of making Malaysia a regional entertainment production hub and creating 10,000 jobs locally.

It officially opened in 2014 and was first used for the production of the original Netflix series Marco Polo.

The Pakatan Harapan government had set aside RM30 million for filmmaking incentives under its Budget 2019, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced last November 2.

Lim added that Khazanah Nasional would provide an additional RM100 million specifically for the production of films at the Pinewood studios in Iskandar, Johor as part of the government’s efforts to grow the digital economy.

Without Johor, the Pinewood Group now has six studios worldwide. Three of them are in the UK, one in Atlanta, the US, one in Toronto, Canada and the last is in the Dominican Republic.

Hollywood entertainment portal Variety reported yesterday that Pinewood’s next phase will be expanding its UK studios, with the one located in Shepperton to become the British hub for Netflix.

Variety reported that the Pinewood Group has since been bought by European real estate firm Aermont Capital headquartered in London for £323.3 million.

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