The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board has approved two major movie productions for tax credits through the State’s new Film Tax Credit program: “JOKER,” a film that delves into the iconic Batman villain’s past, and a Steven Spielberg-directed screen adaptation of “West Side Story.”
The Film Tax Credit provides a 30% tax credit against the corporate business tax and gross income tax for qualified film production expenses and a 35% credit for goods and services purchased through vendors located in targeted areas of the state. To qualify, a film must spend at least 60% of its total budget in New Jersey or incur more than $1 million in qualified production expenses in the state.
Both productions may also receive a bonus 2% Diversity Tax Credit. To qualify for the bonus, productions had to submit a diversity plan for the recruitment and hiring of women and minority persons. The productions will receive the credit upon completion if the production company can demonstrate a good-faith effort to undertake the strategies and meet the goals of the approved plan.
“We are especially pleased that Warner Brothers Studios and 20th Century Fox – two of the biggest players in the film industry – have not only decided to film here, but have also made hiring a diverse workforce a priority,” NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan said Tuesday.
The projects approved today are among the most highly anticipated films currently in production. The Warner Brothers Studios-produced “JOKER,” filming in Newark, examines the background of the iconic Batman supervillain, telling the story of his evolution from a mild-mannered young man caring for his delusional mother into the infamous figure that has captured fans’ imaginations for years.
The other project, shooting in Paterson, is a screen adaptation of the Broadway staple “West Side Story” produced by 20th Century Fox. The film brings together legendary director Steven Spielberg and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner to present the classic tale in a new way.
“These two major productions are bringing jobs to our state and bolstering the economy of New Jersey while supporting our diverse communities,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “I am proud to see the film industry growing and thriving in the Garden State and excited to see New Jersey become the backdrop for more movies and television shows in the future.”