Hollywood Points Lens Toward Cuba
HAVANA – Hollywood plans to ride the wave of the thaw in the relationship between Cuba and the United States, with plans to film on the island productions for both small and big screens.
According to Deadline, Showtime’s dark humor series “House of Lies” will head to Cuba to film the final episode of its fifth season, while Variety reports that the “Fast and Furious” franchise could also shoot on the island.
The series actors and Executive Producer Don Cheadle are getting ready to travel to Cuba with show creator Matthew Carnahan. This would be the first time a scripted series from the U.S. is filmed on the island since the two countries established diplomatic relations last year.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Universal Studios told Variety that the company is currently in the process of receiving approval from both the government of Cuba and the U.S. to explore the possibility of shooting the next installment of “Fast & Furious” in Cuba.
According to Variety, the advantages of shooting in Cuba include the beaches and mountains as well as its roads and railways. The country also has a robust native entertainment industry with qualified professionals, and booth food and wages are less expensive than in the U.S.
What effect if any this might have on Puerto Rico’s film industry has yet to be seen. Puerto Rico has an incentive for filming on the island that includes tax breaks of up to 40% on production spending, which has allowed the filming of various Hollywood productions on the island.
Puerto Rico Economic Development Secretary Alberto Bacó Bagué has said that from 2013 to 2015, Act 27 had led to 144 audiovisual projects to be filmed locally. These include movies, documentaries, and music videos, among others that have injected some $191 million into the economy. One of these was the fifth installment of the “Fast & Furious” franchise.