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Leavesden

Aerial view of Leavesden Studios.

Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, formerly known as Leavesden Studios (and still colloquially referred to as such), is a major British film and media studio complex located near Watford, Hertfordshire. Although owned by Warner Bros., all of the site's studio facilities are able to rent for any film production. It is perhaps best known as the home of the Harry Potter franchise — each of the eight entires in the series was filmed at Leavesden, and the site is now home to the Making of Harry Potter studio tour attraction. Among other major productions, minor reshoots for the film Alien: Covenant were filmed at the studio.

HistoryEdit

The site was originally developed as a WWII aerodrome and aircraft factory, and following the war it was abandoned and fell into disrepair. It remained unused until it was discovered in 1994 by Eon Productions, when the studio was searching for studio space for the seventeenth official James Bond film, GoldenEye, as the franchise's traditional home of Pinewood Studios was fully booked with other productions. The wide, tall and open aircraft hangars on the site were uniquely suited to use as film stages; Eon leased the site for the duration of their shoot and went about converting it into a film studio, gutting the factories and turning them into stages, workshops and offices. After production on GoldenEye wrapped, the new Leavesden Studios quickly became popular, with a succession of major films made there, including the first of the Star Wars prequels, The Phantom Menace.

In 2000, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. selected the studio for the filming of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, a deal that would lead to Warner occupying the site for the next decade and making all eight of the Harry Potter entries there. Throughout this time, the majority of the site's space was occupied by the franchise's permanent standing sets. Following the completion of the series, Warner Bros. decided to purchase the site, renaming it Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, and invested more than £100 million into redeveloping and upgrading the site. As part of this redevelopment, Warner Bros. also created two entirely new soundstages to house a permanent public exhibition called the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.

Other high-profile feature films made at Leavesden include The Dark Knight, Sherlock Holmes, Inception, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Edge of Tomorrow, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Mission Impossible: Rogue nation, Jason Bourne and Wonder Woman.