Ryan Reynolds is setting up a production hub in his home country of Canada.
Maximum Effort, the production and advertising company the “Deadpool” star co-founded and leads with George Dewey, is part of an ownership group for a new 1.2 million-square-foot studio being built in Markham, Ontario, Canada, just outside of Toronto.
The studio is one of the first projects for a $1.5 billion private-equity fund that will focus on real estate, sports, media and venture capital. Real-estate development firm Watford Group, based in Markham, is leading the investment raise, which is already halfway committed.
“Maximum Effort has grown in ways and directions that we’ve never imagined,” Reynolds said in a statement. “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.”
Construction is scheduled to begin shortly on the new production studio, which developers say will be the largest film and TV production hub in Canada. There’s no projected date for the studio’s completion. The facility is described as a fully integrated production studio for film, scripted and unscripted reality television, drama series, live action and animated feature films. It also will include a technical incubator and a “virtual production campus” providing vocational training.
The site of the studio complex in Markham was originally eyed for a 400,000-square-foot development dubbed First Studio City, which was to have comprised 20 soundstages and was targeted to open in 2020. That project never came to fruition.
Prior to forming Maximum Effort in 2018, Reynolds and Dewey teamed on the “Deadpool” movies. Maximum Effort’s production credits include 20th Century Studios’ “Free Guy,” “The Adam Project” for Netflix, “Spirited” for Apple TV+, “Shotgun Wedding” for Amazon Studios, and docu-series “Welcome to Wrexham,” which follows the purchase of Welsh soccer club Wrexham AFC by Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, for FX and Disney+.
In May 2021, Maximum Effort Productions inked three-year first-look development deal with Paramount Pictures for feature projects.