Movie Will Bring 1,000 Jobs and More than $30 million in Local Spending; Marks First Feature Film for Chicago's Newest Soundstage Cinespace
CHICAGO - January 14, 2013. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment's Divergent, the filmed adaptation of the novel by Chicagoan Veronica Roth, will begin filming in Illinois this April. The movie production is expected to bring 1,000 jobs and more than $30 million in spending to Illinois. It is the first major Hollywood film for Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, the soundstage Governor Pat Quinn worked to attract to Illinois.
"Illinois is an ideal place for filmmakers with our skilled workforce, iconic shooting locations and one of the largest soundstages in the country," Governor Quinn said. "The film industry is creating good jobs for Illinois electricians, welders, construction workers, actors, make-up artists, security guards and more while also fueling growth in our economy."
Directed by Neil Burger and starring Shailene Woodley, Divergent is a thrilling adventure set in a future world where people are divided into distinct factions based on their personalities. Tris Prior (Woodley) is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy to destroy all Divergents, she must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it's too late. Red Wagon Entertainment's Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher are producing. The film will be released theatrically in North America on Friday, March 21, 2014.
Cinespace, which opened in May 2011, was constructed with $5 million from Governor Quinn's Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program and tens of millions of dollars in private investment from Toronto-based studio owner Nick Mirkopoulos. The studio is currently home to TV series Chicago Fire, and hosted TV series Boss and Underemployed in 2012. When fully built out at 1.5 million feet, Cinespace is expected to rank as the largest soundstage outside of Hollywood in the U.S.
"Governor Quinn shared our vision of building a world- class soundstage to support the growth of the film industry in Illinois and help create thousands of jobs for Illinois workers," said Cinespace owner Nick Mirkopoulos. "Cinespace is committed to providing Lionsgate the best facilities and service available, and we are excited that this high-profile film is being made here in Chicago."
'When Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment was considering where to make their movie, we worked hard to showcase all the attractive features of filmmaking in Illinois," said Betsy Steinberg, deputy director of the Illinois Film Office. 'We are gratified that they have recognized the great reasons to bring this project to Illinois."
The Illinois Film Office (IFO) actively pursues film projects by promoting Illinois as an ideal location to film. Illinois offers a 30 percent tax credit to filmmakers for money spent on Illinois goods and services, including wages paid to Illinois residents. Illinois' film tax credit has been instrumental in spurring growth of Illinois' film industry. Since its inception in 2004, the Film Tax Credit has helped generate more than $1 billion in revenue for the state and created more than 10,000 jobs.