A romantic comedy starring Oscar winners Julia Roberts and George Clooney will be shot in Queensland later in 2021, thanks to a federal arts program.
The film, Ticket to Paradise, has attracted a $6.4 million grant under the Location Incentive Program and is expected to generate more than 270 crew and cast jobs.
It will be directed by Ol Parker (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) and produced by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title.
“We have worked in Australia before and found the local crews to be extremely professional,” Mr Bevan said on Tuesday.
Filming will begin in November in the Whitsundays and southern Queensland.
Ticket to Paradise is about a divorced couple who attend their daughter’s wedding in Bali. The Whitsundays will stand in for that destination, with other filming locations to be the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
Screen Queensland chief executive Kylie Munnich said the state had secured six out of 10 international productions choosing Australia since July 2020.
She said producers and directors chose the state because it was COVID-safe, had diverse locations, first-rate sound stages and a good supply of skilled crew workers.
“Producers who hadn’t filmed here before are saying to us, ‘We can’t wait to come back and produce more projects in Queensland – you’ve got everything here and it’s just so easy’,” Ms Munnich said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the production would bring about $33 million into the state’s economy and create up to 1000 jobs, including the cast and crew.
She said the state was attracting productions before the pandemic but the state’s safe health situation since then was an additional draw.
“Queensland is the place to be because of our health response, the range of locations, the weather, our competitive incentives, and world-class talent and crews,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
The federal government said it had so far distributed more than $216 million under the program to attract 22 productions to Australia.
Clooney will reportedly not arrive in Australia until later in the year but Roberts is due to land in Mark to start work on another movie.
The film, called Gaslit, is a political thriller about the Watergate scandal. It co-stars Sean Penn and Australian actor Joel Edgerton alongside Roberts.