Pinewood Studios, the iconic home of British movie making, may be going up for sale.
Investment bank Rothschild have been appointed by Pinewood to “assist with a strategic review” of the company with a view to selling it at a staggering cost of £250 million.
The company’s chief executive Ivan Dunleavy said that Pinewood “has the potential to build on the strong performance of the last few years to grow further both in the UK and internationally”.
The firm, chaired by Michael Grade, also has Pinewood-branded studios in Toronto, Atlanta and Berlin.
Though Pinewood will undoubtedly carry on, any sale would mark the end of an era for the studio that’s been home to James Bond, Superman and Star Wars over the years. Here are five classics photos from the Pinewood vaults.
James Bond meets Superman
Roger Moore dons clown garb to film the climax of his 1983 Bond outing Octopussy. He’s joined on set by the Man of Steel himself, Christopher Reeve, who at the time was across the studio shooting Superman III.
Hammer Horror’s history with Pinewood dates back decades. In this striking image from 1971’s Hands Of The Ripper, Eric Porter’s Dr John sinisterly leans over Angharad Rees with syringe in hand.
Back in the 60s, Michael Caine launched his own spy series to rival James Bond with The Ipcress File. The film’s low-key espionage struck a chord, and Caine brought back Harry Palmer for quick-fire sequels. Here he is at work on the set of 1967’s Billion Dollar Brain – manning a Honeywell computer worth £150,000, no less.
The Avengers (not those ones)
Patrick Macnee and Honor Blackman took TV by storm in the 60s with their TV series The Avengers. Macnee’s gentleman spy John Steed was known for glamorous sidekicks Cathy Gale (Blackman), Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) and later Tara King (Linda Thorson). The show was revived in 1976 with Joanna Lumley and Mike Gambit as his new partners in fighting crime. Here, they’re posing in the Pinewood gardens to promote the rebooted series.
Bond’s barnyard fight
007 is synonymous with Pinewood. The series hit stratospheric heights in the Sean Connery era thanks to Goldfinger. The Bond star and Honor Blackman film a barnyard tumble-turned-love scene. This turned out to be one of the signature moments of Bond’s defining film.