Funding of $30 million to Dick Cook Studios to shoot two new adventure/fantasy films, Ranger’s Apprentice and The Alchemyst, in Victoria and other locations in Australia with the support of the Federal Government’s Location Incentive program. The Victorian Government is also supporting the productions.
Federal Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the films
will bring significant investment to Australia’s economy and boost jobs in local creative industries.
“Dick Cook has an impressive resume at Disney and is now establishing an exciting new venture into familyfriendly
entertainment in Australia. This is a vote of confidence in the Australian screen industry and the
production facilities on offer, and recognises the depth of local capability and talent we have available to bring
films to life,” Minister Fletcher said.
“The Australian Government is proud to support the production of these films, which are expected to provide a
$280 million boost to both Victoria and Australia’s economy and employ around 4,500 cast and crew. Each
film will use the services of around 800 local businesses.”
Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said productions like these would
shine a spotlight on our top-class screen industry and encourage further investments in Australia.
“This commitment by one of the world’s largest entertainment companies is once again a huge opportunity for
Australia to showcase the quality of our screen industry as we continue to develop a pipeline of investments in
film productions that have huge benefits for our economy,” Minister Birmingham said.
“We also shouldn’t underestimate the tourism value of having locations across Victoria and Australia playing
a starring role in these blockbuster films that will be watched by millions of people from around the world.
Authorised by the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Sydney
Victoria’s Premier, Daniel Andrews, said that Dick Cook Studios, founded by the former Chairman of The
Walt Disney Studios, choosing Melbourne as the home of their first two productions is testament to the calibre
of the Victorian screen sector.
“Securing these projects creates jobs and shows yet again the quality of our creative industries and
infrastructure,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“Melbourne and Victoria are becoming production destinations and hundreds of businesses will reap the
benefits of these and future films.”
Dick Cook, Chairman of Dick Cook Studios, said: “Melbourne is an extraordinary city for screen production
with a strong track record of both local and international productions – we are proud to now be a part of the
wonderful industry here.”
Based on the award-winning book series by Australian author John Flanagan, Ranger’s Apprentice is a live
action feature film following the adventures of a young orphan chosen as an apprentice ranger to keep his
kingdom safe. Filming will start in Melbourne in the second half of 2020.
The Alchemyst is a live action feature film based on the successful fantasy novel series The Secrets of the
Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott about an alchemist who holds the secret to eternal life. The film
will be coproduced by Australian production company AMPCO and its executive director Mario Andreacchio,
with filming to start in Melbourne in early 2021.
Film Victoria CEO Caroline Pitcher said: “I’m thrilled that Victoria has attracted these two projects, creating employment
opportunities for hundreds of people in Victoria’s screen sector, training and development – opportunities for newer
entrants to the industry and flow-on benefits to adjacent industries.”
Ranger’s Apprentice and The Alchemyst follow recent news of the Federal Government and Victorian
Government partnering to secure Paramount Television and Anonymous Content’s 10-part adaption of bestselling
novel Shantaram to film in Victoria and Netflix Original Clickbait.