Leading Hollywood producers and financiers believe a new €125m film and television studio complex in Dublin has the potential to become the biggest in Europe.
US-based producer Gary Levinsohn, whose production credits include Saving Private Ryan, Jack Reacher and The Patriot, told the Sunday Independent that Grange Castle Media Park would be a game changer for the Irish film industry.
Levinsohn, who is an investor in the project, also said Brexit meant that Ireland was in a "sweet spot".
"It's the only place left with an English [speaking crew] in the EU. By far and away, the predominant language of all entertainment is English - certainly from an international perspective, the entertainment that travels," he said.
"And this is the last place in Europe where you can make films in the English language that qualify as EU content [for financial incentives]. From that point of view, there really isn't anywhere else."
Taking up 48 acres, Grange Castle Media Park would be the first film studio in Dublin. "How close it is to Dublin and the airport makes it incredibly desirable for film-makers. It changes the whole game," added Levinsohn. A planning application will be submitted to South Dublin County Council in around October.
Several of the project's backers outlined their vision for the project in a Zoom call with the Sunday Independent last week.
Levinsohn is part of Lens Media, which is owned with Alan Moloney, a producer of Brooklyn starring Saoirse Ronan, and James Morris, founder of Windmill Lane Studios and TV3.
Other backers include high-end real estate company Plus Development, which is owned by Irish men Christopher Carlin and Tyrone McKillen, son of well-known businessman Paddy McKillen. Also backing the project are Matt and David Cooper, two experienced American film and real estate financiers.
"One of the great things about this project is that there is also room for expansion so if the demand is there, as we anticipate, we can easily become the largest in Europe," Matt Cooper said.
"That is one of the things that is really appealing about this project. Every one of us on this call got a call from someone saying, 'We want to shoot in Ireland' - all of us. So I think there is plenty of demand. We're all very, very excited and bullish on it."
Levinsohn said major productions would be attracted. "A production like Star Wars, or a film that I produced, Saving Private Ryan, we couldn't shoot in Ireland. We used the beaches for 18 days but we couldn't shoot there. By building this we can bring the entire production into Ireland," he said.
"We do have deep relationships with studios who we know that are interested."
Grange Castle Media Park plans to have 12 sound stages, offices and workshop space. The project has a partnership with leading Hollywood agency CAA.