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Friday, July 2, 1999 Published at 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK


Spielberg studio plan axed

Steven Spielberg: Looking for a home for DreamWorks

Steven Spielberg's film company DreamWorks SKG has pulled out of controversial plans to build a $200m studio on wetlands near Los Angeles.

The project was part of the $8bn Playa Vista development planned for the Ballona wetlands near Los Angeles International Airport.

The proposals have faced years of fierce opposition from environmental campaigners - including a number of lawsuits and noisy protests at DreamWorks premieres - who claim the area is home to endangered species.

But the company - founded in 1994 by Spielberg, former Walt Disney chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and record company executive David Geffen - said financial, not ecological concerns were behind its decision.

"We have always maintained we would move forward with Playa Vista only if the financial terms of the deal made good business sense for DreamWorks," said Katzenberg.

"We have learned a great deal during the past four years, and it is clear that this move is no longer in DreamWorks' best interest. It was simply not meant to be."

The company had wanted to build at least eight sound stages for, among others, its film, music and television divisions.

Spielberg added that the studio was "exploring options for our permanent home".

DreamWorks films include Saving Private Ryan, Antz, Amistad and The Prince Of Egypt, while its TV work includes the Michael J Fox comedy Spin City.

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Internet Links

Ballona Wetlands (Loyola Marymount University)

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Spielberg/DreamWorks fan site

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