Rarely if ever has the start of a production of a new blockbuster motion picture been announced by the leader of a country or state. However, it was Nathan Rees, the premier of the Australian state of New South Wales, who made the announcement Thursday that Warner Bros. will start production of The Green Lantern in Sydney beginning in July. "Bringing Green Lantern to NSW is a major coup," Rees declared. The film, which will star Hugh Jackman in the lead role, will be directed by Martin Campbell ( Casino Royale ), the premier's office said. "The NSW Government has worked closely with Warner Bros. to ensure that it chose our state as the location for this big-budget production," Rees said. He pointed out that the state's government had recently offered a new package of tax incentives. "This policy is already paying off for the people of NSW," he said. The movie will be produced at Fox Studios in Sydney and, he noted, will give employment to "100 performers, 200 crew and thousands of extras." In a separate statement, Fox Studios CEO Nancy Romano said, "The decision by Warner Bros. to locate the production in New South Wales is tangible evidence that having a competitive incentive scheme in place returns positive results."