Amazon MGM Studios has signed a lease for 160,000 square feet of new soundstages and office space at Pinewood Toronto Studios to establish a Canadian production hub.
Amazon has had a presence in Canada since 2015 and Prime Video is home to shows like Reacher and The Boys, both of which are shot in and around Toronto. The deal with Pinewood Group marks the major studio’s first long-term commitment for Canadian studio space as Amazon MGM Studios raises its game in Hollywood’s content arms race.
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Amazon MGM Studios will secure exclusive use of five new sound stages alongside workshops and office space that totals 160,000 square feet.
“Pinewood Group is an industry leader and with the Toronto region’s best-in-class crews, this agreement offers us immense opportunity for the continued expansion of film and series projects in Toronto, Ontario, and Canada,” Dan Scharf, vp of global business operations at Amazon MGM Studios, said in a statement on Wednesday.
Pinewood Group, which runs Pinewood Studios in the U.K., in May 2023 acquired full ownership of Pinewood Toronto Studios, a film and TV studio that already had its name on the marquee due to a sales and management deal with the facility’s former Canadian owners that began in 2009.
“This landmark agreement further strengthens our relationship with Amazon MGM Studios and demonstrates our joint commitment to the City of Toronto. We are very much looking forward to working together and welcoming many incredible productions to the Pinewood Toronto Studio lot,” Paul Golding, chairman of Pinewood Group, added in his own statement.
Buying full control of Pinewood Toronto Studios also followed the UK studio operator selling its stake in Pinewood Atlanta to local partners in 2019. For Amazon MGM Studios, shifting more of its film and TV series to Toronto for production will enable access to generous tax credits and currency savings from shooting in Canada.
That comes as major Hollywood entertainment players continue to trim their content expenditures, including Amazon last week indicating it will cut hundreds of jobs in its Prime Video and Amazon MGM Studios division.
Amazon MGM Studios is also looking to burnish its commitment to Canada — where it has shot local series like Upload, The Lake and Three Pines, and unscripted productions like All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs — just as the studio continues to negotiate with the federal government over how much it will subsidize local content after Canada’s Online Streaming Bill became law.
Elsewhere in Amazon’s Canadian orbit, MGM Television and MGM+ Studios have produced and commissioned over 40 series and films that shot north of the border. That includes Gen V and The Handmaid’s Tale in Ontario; Fargo and Billy The Kid shot in Alberta; The Man in the High Castle and Upload produced in Vancouver; Tales from the Loop in Manitoba; and parts of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and The Voyeurs lensed in Quebec.
In the UK, Amazon Prime Video in 2022 did a deal with the Pinewood Group’s Shepperton Studios to lease newly expanded facilities totaling around 450,000 square feet and comprising nine soundstages, workshops and office space.
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