AN OSCAR-WINNING producer hopes to film a multi-million-pound children’s fantasy series in Scotland dubbed “Scotland’s Lord of the Rings”, it was revealed today.
Barrie Osborne, whose credits include the Matrix, the Great Gatsby, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is part of a team hoping to bring the $300 million three-movie franchise to the country, filming in Tayside.
The proposed movie series would be an adaptation of the Heartstone trilogy by Highlands writer Nick Sidle, which follows adventures in Scotland, India and London set over centuries.
It is reported that a consortium of film industry professionals and business figures are behind the ambitious plan.
A source close to the project said: “The film side of the partnership is in negotiation with three major Hollywood studios over the proposed $300 million shooting budget for the three-movie franchise.
“The first shoot will be set in London, the second around India and the third will have Scotland at its core.
“The franchise has major Indian investment and artistic participation.
“On the production and direction side, internationally recognised names will be announced when it is deemed appropriate.”
The source said that Scottish agencies had also been approached regarding the franchise and the consortium was keen to create a ‘new national creative arts zone’ in Tayside.
The source added: “Tayside ticks a number of strategic boxes.
“The digital and creative arts are particularly strong in the region, there is a great deal of willing on behalf of the local and central government to further enhance the Tayside regeneration, and with the advent of the V&A the region is set to further develop as a quality tourist destination.”
Julie Craik, who runs Tayscreen Scotland, a project that supports the film industry in the region, said: “There is a warm welcome waiting for a project like this and the right talent and skills to make it work.”