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'Spawn' actor Michael Jai White will open a 'HUGE' film studio in New Haven

Actor, writer and director Michael Jai White, who has Connecticut roots, announced Friday that he and a team of film industry veterans will launch what is being termed the state’s first “mini-major studio” for television, film and other commercial projects.

White’s studio will be called Jaigantic Studios, according to a press release distributed this morning by the actor and the office of Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim. White lived in Bridgeport at one time, according to the release.

Jaigantic will operate out of a production facility called Studio One in Fairfield while a multi-purpose studio in New Haven is being built.

City sources have told Hearst Connecticut Media that the site the studio will be built on is 46-56 River Street, and that the city was initially approached about this several years ago and again in the fall of 2020.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said in a statement that the city “is excited to work with Jaigantic Studios and on their proposed development on River Street.”

“Community conversations will be scheduled later this year as we welcome a world-class production company to New Haven,” Elicker said.

The New Haven studio will house several state-of-the-art soundstages, production offices, post and support facilities. The press release from White said the studio “will be providing thousands of job opportunities, professional training, apprenticeships, and community development projects.”

The state’s Office of Film, Television and Digital Media has been working quietly for months to make the new studio aware of available financial incentives, according to George Norfleet, executive director of the agency, which is part of the Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development.

Norfleet said his office is doing “everything in its power to give them a glide path” so the studio’s plans could become a reality.

“We have given them an idea of an eco-sphere for the industry that is already as well what we can potentially do for them,” he said. “They could potentially be eligible for infrastructure tax credits for building the studio as well as production tax credits for projects that the studio works on.”

Norfleet said it is “too early to comment on the economic potential for what the studio could provide for state.”

“This is what we like to see happen, because these things drive additional tax revenue,” he said. “It would be great for the New Haven area to have company to contribute to the production infrastructure.”

ESPN has made use of the infrastructure tax credits to develop a second studio at the company’s corporate campus on the Southington-Bristol border.

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