'Suicide Squad' Spinoff Among 19 Movies Getting Millions In Tax Breaks To Shoot In California

Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad
Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. (Photo courtesy Warner Bros.)

Comic-Con just ended yesterday, but there's more comics news today: upcoming Warner Bros./DC Comics movie Birds of Prey is the highest-profile among 19 films that just landed tax credits from the state of California, according to the California Film Commission.

Warner Bros. credited the tax credit with allowing them to produce Birds of Prey in the state, which they say will create hundreds of industry jobs. The movie's a follow-up to Suicide Squad, which shot in Toronto. Birds of Prey is set to shoot here in Los Angeles — so some of those jobs may be to hide the palm trees when they're supposed to be in Gotham City.

The tax credits are aimed at keeping production local, while numerous movies and TV shows have been heading to hotspots like Georgia, Canada, and elsewhere. It's contributing to location-warping Hollywood magic — California is playing New York and New Jersey in an untitled project from filmmaker Charles Randolph, and doubling for Europe in Bunker. Meanwhile, Bullet and Head are having their storylines revised to move them here instead of being set in Philadelphia and New Jersey, respectively. So sorry, working actors — put away your Philly and Jersey accents for now.

The program gave out $52.2 million in tax credits in this round, which they say will generate $258.2 million in the spending the program is trying to create. That includes wages for below-the-line workers, as well as money used for equipment and other outside vendors. Birds of Prey alone is set to spend nearly $63 million in those areas.

It's not all going to benefit L.A. The program actually includes an extra 5 percent bonus for projects that shoot outside the Los Angeles Thirty-Mile Zone — the traditional filming area that gave TMZ its name. There are 11 movies on the list that are shooting at least partially outside the L.A. area, with two of the films scheduled to be shot entirely in other parts of the state. We'll try not to take it personally.

Big-budget movies that have benefited from this version of the tax credit program include A Wrinkle in Time and the forthcoming Transformers spinoff Bumblebee, among others. The earlier version of the film program excluded movies with budgets over $75 million, but the current iteration is highlighting the fact that it's aimed at productions of all sizes.

But the tax credits aren't all going to big studio movies. While 11 studio films won tax credits, eight indie films are also included.

The program was extended in the most recent state budget through 2025 — with additional provisions including anti-sexual harassment policy requirements. It's also keeping the higher funding that was put in place in the current iteration.

See the full list of approved films, along with more details from the California Film Commission, below:

Full list of film projects

Big-budget movies approved & out of zone film projects


You made it! Congrats, you read the entire story, you gorgeous human. This story was made possible by generous people like you. Independent, local journalism costs $$$$$. And now that LAist is part of KPCC, we rely on that support. So if you aren't already, be one of us! Help us help you live your best life in Southern California. Donate now.

Correction: An earlier version of this story omitted the fact that the film tax credits program has already been extended until 2025. LAist regrets the error.