/News 27.10.20


Three Universal Studio Group TV series – Young Rock, Joe Exotic and Irreverent – are set to film back-to-back for 18 months in Brisbane’s Screen Queensland (SQ) Studios, as well as surrounding locations in South East Queensland and Port Douglas in Far North Queensland.

Universal Studio Group, which comprises Universal Television, Universal Content Productions (UCP) and NBCUniversal International Studios, is bringing the three productions to Queensland, with production on Young Rock now underway at SQ Studios.

Screen Queensland Studios – Image courtesy of Screen Queensland

Leveraging its local expertise and infrastructure, Matchbox Pictures will lead and oversee all three projects on the ground.

Screen Queensland succeeded in attracting these productions into the state through the Queensland Government’s Production Attraction Strategy, and on the basis of the state’s diverse locations, expert local crew and low numbers of active COVID-19 cases.

“This is a massive boost for the Queensland screen industry and a vote of confidence in how safe Queensland is as a major destination for film and TV production,” said Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich.

“We warmly welcome the Universal Studio Group and Matchbox teams to Screen Queensland Studios and look forward to seeing these series take shape, alongside our facilities and locations being showcased around the world.”

Kylie Munnich, CEO Screen Queensland
Fortitude Valley, Brisbane – Image courtesy of Screen Queensland

Screen Queensland Studios is Australia’s newest and third largest studio complex. The lot is located in Hemmant, just 15 minutes from downtown Brisbane and 12 minutes from Brisbane International Airport (BNE). It includes two sound stages totalling 64,000sqft/6,000sqm plus additional warehouses, production and support facilities of 109,000 sqft/10,000sqm, eight green rooms and 200 car spaces.

Screen Queensland’s Head of Studios Derek Hall commented that the facility is a perfect match for Universal Studio Group and Matchbox, and the creative output to be generated by the three productions.

“Having Universal Studio Group come in with major projects like these, for such a duration, allows SQ Studios to continue to increase its reputation to producers in Australia and internationally, while further cementing Queensland as one of the best, and currently safest, places in the world to film.”

Derek Hall, Screen Queensland’s Head of Studios

“This is an important set of projects for the Australian industry and Matchbox Pictures and this would not have happened without the support of Screen Queensland,” said Matthew Vitins, COO Matchbox Pictures.

“These projects also confirm a trend for us, in that we are seeing the line between domestic and international production become much less distinct. These projects will have Australian creatives and technical talent all over them.”

Ebenezer, South-East Queensland – Image courtesy of Screen Queensland

From Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off the Boat) and Dwayne Johnson, NBC’s Young Rock is a comedy inspired by Johnson himself. The show will be produced by Universal Television, Seven Bucks Productions and Fierce Baby Productions, and filmed in Brisbane and its surrounds.

Also filming in and around Brisbane will be Joe Exotic, a limited series from UCP depicting the true events of infamous big cat enthusiast of Tiger King fame, Joe Exotic.

Port Douglas – Image courtesy of Douglas Shire Council

In addition to SQ Studios, the ten-part drama series Irreverent will film on location in Port Douglas. The series follows a New York criminal on the run, posing as the new church reverend of a small reef town in Far North Queensland.

Screen Queensland’s production attraction incentives are open to all domestic and international producers who are looking to bring footloose film and TV projects that generally have a minimum AU$3.5 million QPE (Queensland Production Expenditure).

For more information on Screen Queensland Studios, visit screenqueenslandstudios.com.au. To Learn more about filming in Queensland, visit screenqueensland.com.

Port Douglas aerial – Image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland


Screen Queensland is a Queensland Government-owned company that invests in talent and production to grow a creative, innovative and successful screen industry with a focus on stories and audience, secures production and post, digital and VFX to Queensland, and delivers an active screen culture through festivals and events funding across the state. Screen Queensland invests in stories and talent through a range of mechanisms including development, production investment, initiatives, SQhub and mentorships. Screen Queensland is deeply committed to increasing diversity in the screen industry to reflect the Australian community. For more information visit screenqld.com.au