Netflix said it plans to buy its first studio -- ABQ Studios in Albuquerque, New Mexico -- to create a production hub in the same place where movies like and Sicario and shows like Breaking Bad were filmed.
The company plans to spend $1 billion in production there over the next decade, it said in a statement. But no big deal -- Breaking Bad's drug-cooking high-school teacher protagonist Walter White buried barrels packed with money at the GPS coordinates for ABQ Studios, according to an Easter egg in the 2013 episode "Buried."
The streaming giant already has many of the trappings of a traditional Hollywood heavyweight, but owning a studio was missing from the checklist. The company has a lease on a giant soundstage facility right next to its Los Angeles headquarters, but ABQ would be the first studio that it owns outright.
Netflix has already shot productions in New Mexico, like Emmy winner Godless and Longmire, as well as (at the other end of the spectrum) its first Adam Sandler movie, The Ridiculous Six. It plans to shoot upcoming apocalypse dramedy Daybreak, supernatural drama Chambers and suspense epic Messiah around the state.
In Monday's statement, Netflix said it's "in final negotiations" to purchase ABQ. It didn't specify financial terms of the deal, other than to note that New Mexico and the city of Albuquerque are offering $14.5 million in funding to attract the company's investment. Netflix predicted it'd create up to 1,000 production jobs a year at the facility.
"Our experience producing shows and films in New Mexico inspired us to jump at the chance to establish a new production hub here," said Ty Warren, vice president of physical production for Netflix.
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