20 October 2005
New Disney fantasy to come to the Henderson Valley Studios
Waitakere has scored another international film coup, with the announcement that Disney Corporation is coming back to
the city to film another top children’s fantasy adventure.
Disney and co-producer, Walden Media have announced they will be filming The Bridge to Terabithia., at the Henderson
Valley Studios and at various locations. The production will be based at Hobsonville.
“I understand the decision to film here is directly related to the strength of New Zealand special effects,” says Mayor
Bob Harvey, who drove the decision to acquire the old Enza cool-stores in Henderson Valley Road and turn them into film
Mr Harvey says the film will be based on the award-winning children's novel by Katherine Patterson. The story follows an
11-year-old boy who befriends a girl who is an outsider and together they build a world with magical creatures, and are
Mr Harvey paid tribute to the role Film Auckland played in helping to secure the deal.
Waitakere and Auckland Cities helped create Film Auckland three years ago after Xena, Warrior Princess began winding
“People said the film industry would die after Xena but we believed that New Zealand in general and Auckland and
Waitakere in particular had talent and other advantages that Hollywood and European producers simply couldn’t ignore.
“Together, we made a DVD about the places and people we offer, around the world. At the same time Waitakere bought the
buildings that have become the Henderson Valley Studios – and we have never looked back,” he says.
“A measure of the success of film Auckland is that it is supported by two pro-active councils and partly by the fact
that it works in close collaboration with the film industry. We endeavour to work the way film-makers work - and that is
attractive,” he says.
Pre-production on Bridge to Terabithia is expected to start within the next few weeks with principal photography
starting in late January 2006, for release in 2007
The film will be directed by Gabor Csupo, who created the Rugrats and Wild Thornberrys and worked on early episodes of
Mr Harvey said he understood that renowned American director Martin Scorsese is also considering coming to New Zealand
to make his next film, Silence. This is based on a 16th-century tale about Portuguese missionaries in Japan.
“We will be trying to interest him in using the studios if at all possible,” Mr Harvey says.