Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” sequel is reportedly set to receive up to 46.7 million euros (around $50.7 million U.S. dollars) in a rebate as part of a generous filming scheme by the Maltese government for shooting in the Mediterranean island state.
According to Times of Malta, the rebate ties to the film commission’s scheme that promises production houses up to 40% cash back if they film in Malta.
Quoting official figures from the state aid website of the EU Commission, the rebate for the swords-and-sandals epic reportedly breaks the record for the biggest state aid to cinema in the European Union – more than double the previous record holder, which filmed in Italy.
The government indicates the scheme is significantly growing the film industry which in turn injects millions into the Maltese economy. However, insiders claim to the outlet that less than half is being spent directly in Malta.
Adding to the complications is the actor’s strike has brought filming on the project to a halt with a massive set at Fort Ricasoli left abandoned for now – meaning the Film Commission is unable to rent it out to other, smaller productions not impacted by the strike.
It’s estimated that Maltese taxpayers will have paid as much money in cash rebates this year as they paid in the 16 years combined between 2006 and 2021.
The first “Gladiator” film was shot in Malta in 1999, whilst Scott recently filmed three weeks of his “Napoleon” film in Malta last year.