Marvel-lous new film hit for Cumbernauld

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Cumbernauld’s Wardpark film studios are today reportedly set to follow “Outlander” with an even bigger booking – for The Avengers.

It means A-list film stars including Scarlett Johannson and Robert Downey Jnr will be making tracks for what one Glasgow newspaper slates as “the unfashionable town”.

Scarlett Johanssen.

Scarlett Johanssen.

The deal, for Avengers movie Infinity War, will see Wardpark being used for the welter of special CGI effects needed to bring Captain America and other graphic novel (or comic, if you prefer) characters to life on the big screen.

Famous to generations of kids as Marvel Comics superheroes these curiously-dressed paladins have become box office gold in a big movie era led by special effects.

Apart from the new kudos for Wardpark, based in a disused factory, such a stunning success could reignite the long-running debate about where Scotland’s national film studio should be sited.

Glasgow city fathers are known to be still smarting over the rejection by the Scottish Government of their ambitious plan to base the national studios in the city.

Many in the film industry also argue Glasgow has the amenities and the ambience to make it a logical choice – for example Brad Pitt movie World War Z featured many scenes shot in Glasgow (deputising as New York), and some Outlander scenes were shot in the city’s West End.

However North Lanarkshire Council has made a strong case that Cumbernauld - as centre of an enviable matrix of professional expertise and resources just ten minutes from Glasgow - ticks all the right boxes.

The Scottish Government has been regularly accused of dragging its feet over what film industry players see as an opportunity going to waste.

It has been involved in a private initiative plan for Wardpark, but meanwhile rival attempts to open film studios in the Pentland Hills and Dundee have also been vying for the main prize.

Outlander has just finished another season’s filming - a field at Greenfaulds was used to stage the battle of Culloden last year - leaving the stage clear for the arrival of The Avengers.

Cumbernauld hasn’t been chosen for its scenic beauty, with reports suggesting the creepy alleyways of historic Old Town Edinburgh will feature heavily, but is expected to be the nerve centre of the production.

That means the big stars will be spending a lot of time in the town - even if they won’t necessarily be doing much town centre shopping.

if all goes according to plan they will be creating Scottish movie history by taking part in what’s reckoned set to be Scotland’s biggest blockbuster ever, while bringing millions to the local economy.

The production could also establish Cumbernauld even more firmly as a film base which has already proved its worth, paving the way for still more success.