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Harry Potter stars back Warner takeover of Leavesden
Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe
Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe have expressed their support for the project

Some of the world's biggest film stars are backing Warner Brothers' takeover of Leavesden Studios.

The Hertfordshire studios will become the first major film base established outside the USA since World War II and will cost £100m to redevelop.

On the eve of the latest Harry Potter premiere, stars of the film spoke of their delight at the project after filming there for ten years.

Warner Brothers executives also explained their decision.

Barry Meyers, chairman and chief Executive of Warner Brothers, told BBC Three Counties Radio why they had chosen Leavesden.

"We've been there for 10 years" he said. "We've shot all the Harry Potter films there as well as many others.

"I sometimes equate us to the tenant who loves the house he lives in and has been renting it for years and finally gets the chance to own it and do with it what he really wanted to do with it.

"That's where we are right now. We're thrilled to have done this transaction.

Important

"One of the reasons that we think it's critical to be in the UK is that for many years it's been the heart of some of the bigger films, the bigger part of our theatrical programme, and we really expect that to continue," he said.

"It's very conducive, it has the full support of the government, it provides us with some financial support for what we do, and we in return do a lot of filming here and provide employment.

Tom Felton
Tom Felton

"Over the years, the UK has built up some of the finest pool of technical and creative expertise that exists virtually anywhere in the world."

Meanwhile, Josh Berger, the head of Warner Brothers in the UK, said: "Right now the film industry is not suffering in the same way that the overall economy is.

"We've had a great experience [here] making big budget movies so I think it's great news for employment."

Support

Stars of the latest Harry Potter film, have expressed their support for the project.

Daniel Radcliffe, who plays the title role, said that it was very special for all who had spent the last 10 years of their lives at Leavesden Studios to suddenly see it become the centre of all this attention.

"We have an amazing resource in this country which is tens of thousands incredibly talented film technicians, film makers, writers and actors" he said.

Emma Watson, who plays Hermione also expressed her happiness.

"I had the time of my life making these films at Leavesden studios and it's so wonderful that it's still going to be around for years to come," she said.

Tom Felton, Draco Malfoy, in the Harry Potter series spoke of a building that was full of "charisma".

"Half of me says I'm sad to see the old studio go and I will make sure that I have a little walk round it and catch up on old memories.

"I think the whole area will benefit without question."




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