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Netflix nearing deal to lease famed Pinewood Studios in UK

Netflix is nearing a deal for a long-term lease at UK-based Pinewood Studios, where the latest round of “Star Wars” movies, as well as a number of “James Bond” flicks, has been filmed.

The video-streaming giant is “in advanced talks” with Pinewood for a deal that would make its London-area sound stages Netflix’s UK production hub, the Financial Times reported Friday — a deal that would underscore Netflix’s global ambitions.

Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix, which has been in talks with Pinewood for several months, didn’t confirm the report. Pinewood didn’t return requests for comment.

Disney most recently produced “Solo: A Star Wars Story” there, and is shooting “Episode IX” and other projects at the studio.

Disney hasn’t disclosed its plans for shooting locations for future projects, and didn’t return requests for comment about how a Netflix deal might affect its production schedule.

Nevertheless, Netflix’s bid to move into Pinewood highlights the mounting race for cinematic dominance between the streaming giant and Disney. The latter is working fast to launch its rival streaming service, Disney+, next year.

Netflix, meanwhile, is quickly growing its production footprint in Europe as it begins ramping up its projects on the continent next year.

This year alone, the streaming giant produced 141 projects in Europe, which consists of 81 original productions and 60 co-productions on licensed programs. Next year Netflix plans on making 221 projects, 153 of which will be originals.

Netflix, which produces the UK hit series “Black Mirror,” said earlier this year that it was setting up a massive 237,000-square-foot production hub in Madrid.

It has also opened an office in Paris and is moving to a new space in London. But inking a deal with Pinewood would represent Netflix’s biggest expansion yet. Pinewood Group is planning on expanding its 465,000-square-foot Shepperton Studios, which shot the 2017 remake of “The Mummy,” as well as growing its Pinewood East site in Buckinghamshire.

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