A north-east film director is hoping to shoot a big budget Hollywood movie in Aberdeen and has already been scouting locations.
Peterhead-born Jon Baird says he wants to “light the fuse” by making the north-east a viable film location so that it can reap the economic benefits.
The Stan & Ollie director has made several trips to the city in recent weeks, along with crew members from the production, and is hoping to get the green light from Aberdeen City Council to allow filming to commence in the new year.
Jon is staying tight-lipped about his new film – which starts shooting in a few weeks – but said it was the largest of his career and features a big-name international cast.
He said: “It’s a true story, set in the late 1980s, and is in the vein of The Social Network and The Big Short. It’s got a thriller aspect to it and has real heart. It’s kind of a buddy movie as well.
“The story is set over different countries but Scotland has thrown up some great locations that double for the places.”
Jon said he hopes a deal can be worked out with the city council because it will show what’s possible for future film productions.
He said: “I’ve got a real desire to put Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire on the map as a filming location. I really want to light the fuse in a way to start seeing big productions coming here.
“It’s really exciting for the profile of the area and the economy. In the long run, it may pave the way for a lot more things coming up here.
“We’d be up in the city for a good week-and-a-half to two weeks and we’d be bringing money to the economy because the crew for something like this is about 300 people and we’d need to put them up in hotels and feed them.
“We’re not looking for any financial investment from the city but we really need the support of the city council in terms of logistics and being film-friendly, otherwise it’s just not going to work.”
Jon says if all goes to plan he’d hopefully shoot the city sequences in February.
“Aberdeen has got some amazing locations, which I’d never have thought, because we’re setting it in Japan, Russia, the USA, London,” he said.
“We had talked about shooting overseas and in London but I really wanted to come back to Scotland to shoot the film up there.
“Everything is sorted for Edinburgh and Glasgow but I was really insistent that there’s a few locations up in Aberdeen that would really be incredible for our film.”
In recent years Glasgow and Edinburgh have been the locations for a number of high-profile films, include Sam Mendes’ Oscar-winning 1917 and the upcoming comic book blockbuster The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson.
Aberdeen City Council’s co-leader Douglas Lumsden said he was excited at the prospect of the Granite City featuring on the silver screen.
He said: “That sounds great if we can attract a big-budget film to the city.
“Hopefully, we can show the city off and I’m sure the council would like to assist. It would be fantastic for the whole region.
“I’ve seen Stan & Ollie and I really enjoyed it so it will be interesting to see how this develops.”