Is the time of making movies Down Under over?

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hal-greenlanternProduction of Warner Bros.’ Green Lantern has pulled up stakes from Australia, part of an overall decision by the movie studio to reassess its overseas filming operations, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The reason is the power of green — or the lack thereof. As the falling U.S. dollar continues its slide, the once-sound financial strategy to film Down Under has become more expensive. George Lucas took production of his Star Wars prequels to the then-new Fox Studios Australia in Sydney. In 1998, it was a bargain.

With a live-action Star Wars television series on the way, the land of koalas and kangaroos has been floated as a possible base of operations for that lucrative venture — but these days even Lucas isn’t so sure.

“We haven’t made a final decision exactly where we are going to shoot it but obviously we have made a lot of movies in Australia. I love Australia, I’ve spent a lot of time there and we’d like to do it in Australia,” the filmmaker told an Australian journalist in August. “Unfortunately you guys have a lot of inflation.”

There’s always Mesa

As for Green Lantern, The Hollywood Reporter cites industry sources who say the film, starring Ryan Reynolds as the ring-slinging superhero, will now shoot either in Mexico or Canada.

Meanwhile, Jackie Earle Haley, who played Rorschach in the big-screen adaptation of Watchmen and is Freddy Krueger in an upcoming remake of Nightmare on Elm Street, is at the forefront of rumors about who will play fallen Lantern leader Sinestro. But the actor says it’s news to him.

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