Warner Bros' Leavesden studios, just outside London, has launched its new $150 million complex featuring huge sound stages, one of the largest heated underwater filming tanks in Europe, and a 100-acre "clear horizon" for outdoor scenes, reports the Hollywood Reporter.
The Harry Potter franchise used the studio to film all eight of its movies, though Warner Bros is throwing its weight behind British cinema and Leavesden is likely to be the birthplace of numerous blockbusters in the near future. Warner Bros say that the new complex is "the first of its kind to be built in the U.K. in 70 years", adding that it "secures the future of over a third of the dedicated major feature film production stage space in the U.K. and helps further position the country as a center of filmmaking excellence". The studio, near Watford, houses nine stages that range in size from 10,000 to 36,000 feet. It's also the home of the recently opened 'Making of Harry Potter' tour, taking guests behind the scenes of the famous movies. Josh Berger, president and managing director of Warner Bros Entertainment for the UK, Ireland and Spain said, "As well as helping to generate inward investment and create new jobs both locally and nationally, this significant infrastructure outlay - probably the single biggest the U.K. film industry has witnessed in decades - will further amplify the U.K.'s reputation as the go-to place for film and TV production".
As well as the Harry Potter movies, Leavesden has also been used to film the Sherlock Holmes movies, by Guy Ritchie, as well as 'Inception' and parts of Christopher Nolan's 'The Dark Knight'.