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Aliens sightings in Fiordland - Hollywood blockbuster set to be filmed here?


Hollywood heavyweight Michael Fassbender could be heading to Southland as rumours swirl the latest film in the Alien franchise is set to start shooting there.

At this year's Golden Globes, director Ridley Scott said he'd been choppering across the lower half of New Zealand in the lead-up to filming the blockbuster Alien: Covenant.

Hollywood blockbusterThe film, starring Fassbender, is the sequel to Scott's sci-fi hit PrometheusAlien: Covenant and it takes place in the years after the doomed Prometheus expedition.

Scott, who picked up multiple awards this year for his film The Martian, spoke about how he flew over much of the South Island in a helicopter to get to remote locations.

"That means I go right within nine feet of the highest peak in New Zealand, examine the top and then we go everywhere you couldn't normally go," he said.

Scott also said the production would be working out of Fox Studios in Sydney and crews were already gearing up for the film.

"I've got my crew out there already prepping. We're going to start shooting, I don't know, roughly around, in around two months," he said.

There's been a few whispers around Fiordland about some scenes being filmed in Milford Sound but at this stage people are keeping quiet.

Executive manager of Film Otago Southland Kevin "KJ" Jennings would not comment in relation to queries aboutAlien: Covenant being filmed in Southland.

But with its picturesque landscapes and unique culture, the scenery on film looks set to be on the rise.

Venture Southland business and strategic projects general manager Steve Canny said a number of productions were in the preliminary stages of work.

"There's quite a number of movies and production options being considered at present," he said.

Due to commercial interests and the productions being in their very early stages, Canny could not confirm which productions would be carried out there.

He said there are three large-scale and one smaller-scale productions being considered for shooting days and "production people" would be in the area in the next fortnight.

"The year ahead looks as if it's going to be very busy," he said.

Anything specific about the possibility of certain films being shot would be up to the production companies to confirm, he said.

Twenty productions, including films and music videos, have been shot there over the past 12 months.

Last year Canny said Venture Southland had a collaboration to ensure it was easy for film makers to film in the area.

"A key feature of the the province is the diversity of the landscape. It's appealing to film-makers," he said.