Ryan Reynolds is investing in his roots.
Maximum Effort, the production and advertising company Reynolds co-founded and leads with his business partner George Dewey, is part of an ownership group creating a 1.2 million-square-foot studio in Markham, Ontario. Developers say this will be Canada’s largest film and TV production hub.
At Question Period, Ontario’s minister of tourism, culture and sport Neil Lumsden said, “There is a very large—might I say ‘massive’—production studio being built, 1.2 million square feet, in Markham, Ontario. It’s being done by a gentleman who grew up in Canada and who is a star in the film industry: Ryan Reynolds.”
He added, “Let me tell you: 2022 was the best year ever. Hard to believe, but that goes to show you what a great industry it is. It is thriving… I don’t like to say numbers but I will say it’s over $3 billion back into the economy. That’s 46,000 jobs.”
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Real-estate development group Watford Group, based in Markham, is leading the investments with Maximum Efffort in a $1.5 billion private-equity fund focusing on real estate, sports, media and venture capital. The studio is one of their first projects.
“Maximum Effort has grown in ways and directions that we’ve never imagined,” said the “Deadpool” actor in a statement regarding the new investment. “To be launching a fund and building a 1.2 million-square-foot studio facility in Ontario is both mind-boggling and humbling. Regardless, I’m excited to expand our storytelling capabilities in new directions and to bring more production work to Ontario.”
The news of Reynolds’ latest investment plan comes after a report stating that Reynolds was planning a proposal to purchase the Ottawa Senators.
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Construction is scheduled to begin shortly on the new studio.
Maximum Effort started in 2018 and their production credits include 20th Century Studios’ “Free Guy”, Apple TV+’s “Spirited”, and Amazon Studios’ “Shotgun Wedding”.