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‘A Star Is Born’ & Untitled Paramount Tentpole Among 22 Films Receiving California Tax Credits

Deadline logo Deadline 2/13/2017 Dominic Patten
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The California Film Commission today revealed that an Untitled Paramount Project, an Untitled Universal Project and the now-back-onA Star Is Born are among the 22 latest feature recipients of the Golden State’s tax incentive program. The snagging of a tentpole like the Paramount project for the home of Hollywood is a major get for the program, which allowed films with budgets over $75 million to be eligible for tax credits when the program more than tripled in 2014.

With a record-breaking incentive award of $22.4 million, the Untitled Paramount Project  is only the second tentpole to get incentives under the CFC’s $330-million-a-year program. The first was Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, directed by Ava DeVernay, EP’d by Oprah Winfrey and budgeted at $100 million-plus, which was awarded $18.1 million in tax credits in August.

In total, 93 projects applied during the January 2 -13 period for the around $100 million available.

Here is the full list of the 14 studio-based selected projects and eight independent films along with their credit allocation from the state:

Looking at the bottom line, the CFC estimates that the 22 selected productions will generate around $800 million in in-state spending, including $300 million in wages for below-the-line crew members — another major priority for the program. You might recall that A Star Is Born received an allocation on two previous occasions. Because of delays and casting issues, the film starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga slipped out of eligibility and had to reapply.

No information was available about the Paramount movie except that it will mainly be shot outside L.A., but the studio has several projects in development including the stalled Mission: Impossible 6 and the fifth film in the Transformers franchise. Less likely are the further-off Top Gun 2 and The Devil in the White City, which is being eyed as Leonardo DiCaprio’s next film. Paramount did not respond today with further details.

The next application round with the CFC for feature films is June 19-26, right in the middle of the summer blockbuster season. For small-screen folks, the wait will not be so long. Having started on February 10, the latest application round for TV projects ends on Friday – with the priority on relocating series — and top-tier successful contenders will be notified on February 21 what the next steps are. Another TV round runs May 22- 29 with that same rule as the current round that all new and relocating TV series must have pickup orders.

Originally topping out at $100 million a year and handed out via lottery when California launched an industry tax credit back in 2009, Gov. Jerry Brown greatly expanded the incentive when he signed a revamped and expanded version into law on Hollywood Blvd in September 2014. Since then, California has been gaining back the production that was once fleeing to more lucrative states such as New York, Georgia and Louisiana and Canadian provinces like the still booming British Columbia.

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