U.K. axes film taxes

  • 2004-03-25
The British film industry has welcomed the government's decision to introduce a new tax credit for movies made in the U.K.

Tax relief will provide filmmakers with 20 percent of the production budget compared with 15 percent under an existing scheme. The new credit aims to bypass film-financing firms operating between the Inland Revenue and producers. The number of films made in the U.K. has doubled since the first tax scheme was introduced seven years ago, with a record 1.17 billion pounds (1.74 billion euros) spent on film productions last year.

Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise have joined forces once again to make a new film version of the H.G. Wells novel "The War of the Worlds." Backed by Dreamworks and Paramount, the film is sure to be a blockbuster. A version was attempted at Paramount in the 1970s, with a script commissioned from Anthony Burgess, but the project fell through. Spielberg became interested in making a version of the story in the 1990s, but the project evolved into the film "Deep Impact" instead.