Monster blockbuster starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson to film scenes in Victoria

Victoria’s film-production industry will soon get a boost from Hollywood’s favourite movie monster.

Scenes for a multimillion-dollar movie code-named Nautilus will start shooting later this month on the outskirts of Victoria, confirmed a spokesman for the film, produced by Legendary Pictures and distributed by Warner Bros.

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“We’ll be in your neck of the woods but we don’t know where except we’re not shooting in the city,” said unit publicist Ernie Malik, adding director Gareth Edwards and crews will be in Victoria for four days.

The film, widely reported as a Godzilla franchise reboot, stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen and David Strathairn. Taylor-Johnson (Savages, Anna Karenina) will be the only key player filming on Vancouver Island.

“This is a big [budget] picture, and we’re bringing a crew upwards of 250 people,” said Malik, who confirmed most Island filming will take place in Nanaimo.

Details of the creature feature being shot mostly in Vancouver have been kept under wraps.

Giving a blockbuster a code name is not uncommon. Twilight Saga: New Moon was code-named Untitled Sports Movie during filming to keep Twi-hards at bay.

Malik said producers were attracted to the Island’s topography, which suits the story. Legendary Pictures also filmed Seventh Son in Vancouver last year, he said, adding if companies “have a good run somewhere, it brings them back.”

If extras are required, the need would be greater in Nanaimo, where “we’ve got more people in front of the cameras.”

Victoria film commissioner Kathleen Gilbert said the shoot spells good news economically. “Even with a crew of 200 staying for at least four nights, that’s hundreds of hotel-room nights at a time of year [when] hotels in Victoria are hurting.”

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