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'Godzilla vs. Kong' returns to Australia for sequel, economic boost

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'Godzilla vs. Kong' returns to Australia for sequel, economic boost
Tom Hiddleston, seen here at the film's premiere in 2017, starred in "Kong: Skull Island." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

March 21 (UPI) -- Godzilla vs. Kong will return to Australia for the third time and is expected to deliver an economic boost as the state recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sequel to blockbuster Godzilla v. Kong will be filmed in Queensland, where it is expected to deliver a $79.2 million economic boost, creating 505 jobs for cast and crew, plus opportunities for 750 extras, Screen Queensland announced Monday.

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Cameras will start rolling in locations across Gold Coast and southeast Queensland later this year, according to a statement from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

"We are delighted to welcome producers Legendary Pictures back to Queensland, following the filming of Kong Skull Island and Godzilla vs. Kong in the state in 2016 and 2019 respectively," the premier said in the statement. "It's clear our highly skilled local crew, diverse locations and first-rate facilities were definite draw cards for them to come back again."

"The production is expected to inject more than double the $36.5 million that Godzilla vs. Kong brought to the state and is a a welcome boost to our economy as we recover from the impacts of the global pandemic and south-east Queensland flooding events," she added. "These types of productions benefit our screen industry, deliver local jobs and provide a welcome boost to our small business and communities in and around our production sites."

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Film producer Eric McLeod added that the team are excited to return to Australia for the third time in the Monsterverse franchise, similarly touting "the highly skilled crews, first-rate facilities, and unique locations."

While details of the new sequel film have yet to be released, the film's director Adam Wingard told Deadline last year, "the clear starting point we teed up (in GVK)."

"Exploring Hollow Earth, I think there is a lot more to do there," Wingard continued. "This is a pre-history of Planet Earth, where all the titans come from. We tee up some mystery in this film, things I want to see resolved and explored and pushed to the next level."

The film has secured federal government support under a location incentive program. It is the 15th brought to Queensland through the state location incentive, with others including romantic comedy Ticket to Paradise, starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts, and upcoming drama Thirteen Lives, based on rescue mission of 12 boys and soccer coach in Thailand.

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said it also adds to other productions filming in the state, such as Disney+ series Nautilus and season two of Tim Minchin's Foxtel Series Upright.

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