James Bond’s backers were unimpressed and were headed home.
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Pinewood Atlanta Timeline:
Fall 2009: Fayette County business partners Len Gough and Rick Halbert set their sights on creating public/private film and entertain ventures.
June 2010: Gough contacts Chic-fil-A president and chief operating officer Dan Cathy to gauge his interest in expanding his Peachtree City facility to add more sound stages at Falcon Field, where the television show “Drop Dead Diva” is filmed. Cathy’s not interested.
Spring 2012: Gough reaches out to Cathy again regarding film and entertainment industry ventures. Cathy’s interest is piqued. Gough, Halbert and Jim Pace put together a plan to bring in or develop a movie studio in Fayette County.
September 2012: Nick Smith, the No. 2 man at British film giant Pinewood, and Andy Weltman, the top officer of Pinewood’s U.S. operations, arrive in Fayette County for a visit. They’re shown a site near Falcon Field in Peachtree City but are unimpressed. Before leaving, they stake out 288-acres of farmland in north central Fayette as the future home of the company’s first American film studio complex.
Dec. 20, 2013: Pace takes a team to London to meet with Pinewood and work out details of the deal which was unofficially agreed upon.
Feb. 5: The London team returns to Fayette. Pace, who becomes the managing partner of River’s Rock LLC, the American arm of the joint venture, signs deal. That same day, Cathy sets up an independently managed trust to invest in the Pinewood studio deal.
April 26: Pinewood Shepperton PLC signs a $107 million, 10-year deal with River’s Rock to build Pinewood Atlanta, a full-service film and entertainment studio complex in Fayette County. Deal is publicly announced three days later.
Pinewood Studios At A Glance: The making of James Bond, Harry Potter, Hobbits and Les Miz
Headquarters: Buckinghamshire, England
Opened: Sept. 30, 1936 with five studios.
Background: Major British film studio that has hosted numerous productions of movies, television shows and commercials.
Some notable productions: The James Bond franchise, beginning with “Dr. No” in 1962; “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (1968); “The Day of the Jackal” (1973); “Superman” (1978); “Superman II” (1980); “Little Shop of Horrors” (1986); “Full Metal Jacket” (1987); “Batman” (1989); “Mission: Impossible” (1996); “Eyes Wide Shut” (1999); “Jesus Christ Superstar” (2000); “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” (2001); “The Da Vinci Code” (2006); “The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007); “Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix” (2011); “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (2011); “The Hobbit: Unexpected Journey” (2012); “Snow White & the Huntsman” (2012); “Prometheus” (2012); “Les Miserables” (2012).