Star Wars in Tucson? Almost, but Arizona may have been too expensive
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Big news Star Wars fans: They're making the seventh installment, and even though Tucson would have been a good place to film, they're taking their crews elsewhere.
"We were scouted by the lone ranger for a couple of weeks they were here. They were serious about coming here, but they just couldn't make it work," Old Tucson Studios CEO Pete Mangelsdorf told Nine On Your Side.
"Quentin Tarantino was standing right behind where you're at right now when I spoke to him about Django unchained."
So, what's the deal?
Movies like Hamlet 2 where even the plot is set in Tucson are being filmed in places like New Mexico.
"[They're] offering 30% back on everything film companies and television companies spend there," said Tucson Film Office Director Shelli Hall.
She said our state does not offer incentives like that, but she wants to make our region a different story, and she's starting with the sequel to Hot Bath and a Stiff Drink.
"Old Tucson came up with a very attractive offer for them," Hall said.
And Visit Tucson, the Tourism Bureau, gave the makers a small amount of cash.
The least Tucson could do, Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik told us, seeing as the last time they were here, they spend 1.2 million dollars in just 20 days.
"It's showing the state legislature frankly that we can do locally what you guys failed to do for the past two sessions."
Hoping never to lose out on something like Star Wars ever again.
We tried reaching out to state legislators who have opposed film incentives bills in the past.
They did not get back to us; however, the argument against the bill is that the state does not have enough money in our budget.
Hall's response to that: it's an investment.