James Cameron has backed a new UK film studio and said it could act as a base for his technology training center, but the £750M ($927M) Marlow Film Studios still requires a planning greenlight and is proving controversial in its local area.

According to the Financial Times, the triple Oscar-winner has written to Buckinghamshire Council in support of the plans in the past few weeks and said it could be a potential UK and European base and training centre for Lightstorm3D, a company Cameron has set up to develop tools and technology for movies.

Cameron said the 22.5% of global box office the UK delivered in 2023 will “grow as a result” of Marlow, which is in Buckinghamshire, South East England.

“But embracing that opportunity necessitates support and boldness in thinking,” the FT reported Cameron wrote. “The next iteration of screen storytelling requires a purpose-built working space of exceptional quality, and trained professionals.”

Cameron, whose back catalog includes Titanic and Avatar, has been a major advocate for improved movie tech throughout his career. He joins Sam Mendes and a wealth of other high-profile Marlow backers.

The news comes ahead of a crucial planning permission vote by local councillors expected on the site later this month. The studio, which developers say will create 4,000 jobs, has been causing ructions in the local community.

According to local newspaper the Bucks Free Press, the leader of Marlow Town Council has said he and fellow members are “taking legal advice” after receiving “libellous abuse” for their perceived support of the project.

Local residents have taken umbrage with the project’s building and developers were forced to submit amendments to the scheme’s application in efforts to calm local concerns over increased traffic.

The site where the build would take place is next to a motorway but is a former quarry and is defined as greenbelt land, an area of open land around a city in which building is restricted.

A raft of new film and TV Studios have been popping up all over the UK over the past few years and Marlow is one of the splashiest. James Corden’s Fulwell 73 is behind another, the £450M Crown Works Studios in the north east of England, while Stirling Studios in Scotland was revealed just late last week.

Deadline has reached out to Cameron’s reps for comment.



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