Industrial Light & Magic plans to open a new visual effects facility in central London, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter.
The effects house, a subsidiary of Disney-owned Lucasfilm, has secured a space outside Soho — near several other effects companies — and plans to renovate the space and move in by late March or early April.
The studio will be providing some support for Star Wars: Episode VII, which is set to be produced at Pinewood Studios. All of the effects company’s facilities — its headquarters in San Francisco and facilities in Singapore and Vancouver — will contribute effects to the anticipated sequel. Roger Guyett is set as the VFX supervisor on the film.
The London office’s first show will be contributing to Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The target is to bring the London operation to about 200 employees initially.
“We are mostly planning to hire U.K.-based talent; there’s a fantastic talent pool there,” said ILM president and GM Lynwen Brennan. “There is also certainly some interest here [in San Francisco], including from some expats who want to go back to London, so I’d imagine you’ll have some that will move.”