Studio Babelsberg’s desire to increase the number of sound stages has received support from the local authorities in Potsdam and the federal state of Brandenburg.

Speaking at Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg’s annual press conference, Henning Heidemanns, secretary of state in Brandenburg’s Economics Ministry and deputy chairman of the Medienboard’s supervisory board, said discussions are to be held between the studio management and representatives from the town council and regional parliament to find “public-private solutions” for purchasing land near the present studio lot for the location of additional stages.

Heidemanns explained that “film studios need sufficient alternative capacities to be able to plan for the long term.” Otherwise, there was the danger that the complex would have pass up on hosting lucrative international productions because of a lack of sound stage space.

Already one of Europe’s largest studio complexes with 16 sound stages covering over 25,000 square metres and exterior sets of 17,000 square metres, Studio Babelsberg had leased space in a nearby former factory site to install four additional sound stages Neue Film 1 and 2. Such productions as The Counterfeiters, Lilly The Witch, Valkyrie, and Anonymous had used these facilities since 2006.

Meanwhile, later this month will see Babelsberg hosting Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud‘s Chicken With Plums, its first project as part of The Manipulators joint venture with Celluloid Dreams and Clou Partners. Mathieu Amalric, Isabelle Rossellini, Maria de Medeiros and Chiara Mastrioanni will star.

As Medienboard co-managing director Kirsten Niehuus confirmed yesterday, the studio shoot for Constantin Film/Impact Pictures’ 3D blockbuster The Three Musketeers will based at Studio Babelsberg later this year.

Paul W.S. Anderson’s new take on the Alexandre Dumas classic will begin shooting in Bavaria from August 30 at locations in Munich, Bamberg, Würzburg, Burghausen and on the island of Herrenchiemsee.

On Thursday, the Bavarian regional film fund FFF Bayern awarded the film Euros 1.6m production support, and an additional Euros 400,000 came from the Bavarian Bank Fund (BBF).

The international cast includes Logan Lerman as D’Artagnan, Matthew MacFadyen, Ray Stevenson and Luke Evans as the three musketeers Athos, Porthos and Aramis, Mads Mikkelsen as the villain Rochefort, Christoph Waltz as Cardinal Richelieu and Milla Jovovich as the scheming M’Lady de Winter.

Constantin and Impact Pictures had located the studio shoot of their production of Christian Alvart’s scifi thriller Pandorum at Babelsberg in 2008.