Movie shot in Otago No 1 on global Netflix charts

Eight days after its international release, The Royal Treatment has become the most watched movie on Netflix around the globe.

Film Otago Southland coordinator Antony Deaker only dreamed it would happen, but he never believed it actually would.

‘‘This is a great outcome for everyone involved in The Royal Treatment.

‘‘For Dunedin and Oamaru to be seen as Lavania and New York, by so many people across the 190 countries where Netflix operates, is amazing.

‘‘For the industry it demonstrates that our region has great locations and the skills and capacity to produce successful films.’’

The romance, which was filmed in February and March last year, hit international screens on January 20, and has shot to No 1 in the Netflix rankings ahead of Hollywood films Don’t Look Up, The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Red Notice.

The Royal Treatment stars American actress and singer Laura Marano (Austin & Ally, The Perfect Date) and Egyptian-born Canadian actor Mena Massoud, who starred in Aladdin in 2019.

It tells the story of Prince Thomas (Massoud), who is set to marry in an arranged royal marriage, and Izzy (Marano), a Manhattan hairdresser who gets a golden opportunity to do his hair for the wedding.

As the story unfolds, they learn that taking control of their own destiny requires following their hearts, and the two fall in love.

Recognisable scenes include Dunedin’s Vogel St, made to look like New York City; Larnach Castle, which stands in for the royal residence of the fictional country of Lavania; and Olveston House, which is used for the interior scenes.

.Digital enhancement makes Dunedin’s Vogel St look like New York City in the new Netflix romance...
.Digital enhancement makes Dunedin’s Vogel St look like New York City in the new Netflix romance The Royal Treatment, which is the top Netflix film around the world. PHOTO: NETFLIX

The University of Otago, the Fable Hotel, Oamaru’s Victorian precinct and various private residences also feature.

Locally, the film involved nearly 70 crew members from Dunedin and the surrounding areas, and employed 30 New Zealand actors and generated 1000 days of work for extras who were largely sourced from Dunedin and Oamaru.

Mr Deaker said there had recently been ‘‘solid interest’’ from other international film companies to shoot productions in the region, and he hoped to be able to confirm the next one next month. 

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