Warner Brothers will on Wednesday register plans to establish a permanent base in the UK as part of an estimated £100m plus investment that would make it the only Hollywood major to own a studio outside the US.
The proposals would see Warner Brothers buy and refurbish Leavesden Studios, with a view to making the studio in Hertfordshire its permanent UK base.
The site, a former Rolls-Royce aero engine factory, has been in regular use for filming since the mid-1990s, with the Harry Potter films made there as well as a Star Wars movie and the Batman: Dark Knight feature.
The new plans involve building two new permanent stages, refurbishing the existing buildings and redesigning its 100-acre “backlot”, the area used for shooting outdoor scenes.
A person familiar with the plans said Warner Brothers wants to make Leavesden a European hub for post-production, including visual effects, animatronics and film editing in the UK, and believes that it will attract film business to the country.
In a statement, the company said the proposal was “central to our long-term plans to invest in the local production community, to create local and industry employment opportunities, and to continue the legacy of exceptional British filmmaking at Leavesden and across the UK”.