VIDEO game and comic book publisher Rebellion has snapped up a £78m former print factory in Didcot, which it plans to transform into state-of-the-art film studios designed to lure Hollywood’s finest.

The new 220,000 square feet facility, which will create hundreds of jobs, is on the site of the former Daily Mail printing press.

Including several sound stages, the largest of which is 25,000 square feet, the studios will be able to handle productions ranging from TV drama to Hollywood blockbusters.

The new studio will be the group’s second, as it already has a three-stage studio at its motion-capture subsidiary Audiomotion based in Wheatley.

The first major Rebellion productions in the new studios will be the Judge Dredd TV sci-fi drama Mega-City One and sci-fi movie Rogue Trooper, which will be directed by David Bowie’s son Duncan Jones.

Through Audiomotion, Rebellion has been involved in the production of feature films, TV and adverts for more than 15 years including on A Monster Calls, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, Maleficent, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Iron Man 2, and The Watchmen.

Rebellion’s co-founders chief executive Jason Kingsley and chief technical officer Chris Kingsley were producers on the 2012 feature film Dredd.

They announced the creation of Rebellion Productions in 2017, to develop and produce film and TV based on its comics and games IP.

Rebellion acquired the rights to the comic 2000AD, best known for its character Judge Dredd, 18 years ago.

It bought the title from IPC Fleetway and two years ago, followed this up by acquiring 40 more vintage comic titles from IPC, including Roy of the Rovers, the Beano-style Whizzer and Chips and girls’ title Tammy.

The portfolio also includes Action and Battle, the forerunners of 2000AD.

Jason Kingsley said: “This studio purchase is incredibly exciting, not just for Rebellion but for the global film and television industry that is booming but in desperate need of further infrastructure to cope with the demands for new and engaging content.

“We know first-hand the creativity and talent here in the UK and this new studio will bring in projects from all over the world, offering opportunity and income to many people in the industry, as well as local companies and services.

“It also means there will be demand for more UK production and we can export more of our work globally.”

Chris Kingsley added: “The levels of growth in television content for streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon, have been astronomical in recent years.

“The demand for ongoing original content is bigger than ever and we’re seeing more big players wanting to get in on the action.

“This is very exciting for the domestic and global film industries but it’s also meant that our infrastructure is under increasing pressure.

“The new studios will help relieve some of that pressure whilst also adding to the growing figures of people employed in the UK film and TV industry, which has increased by 20 per cent in the last five years.

“Our creative industries are appealing to other markets for our talent and generous tax reliefs - and we must ensure we have the studio space and infrastructure to keep furthering this ongoing growth.”

As well as making its own productions, Rebellion will also rent out sound stage, production and post-production space to third parties.

Brothers Jason, 54, and Chris Kingsley, 52, started developing computer games as a hobby while studying at Oxford University and launched Rebellion after they graduated. Their big break came shortly afterwards, when they won a contract from Atari to produce Alien vs Predator.

According to the most recent accounts, filed in March this year, Rebellion’s turnover for the year ended June 30, 2017 was £40m – a hike of 136 per cent on the previous year’s £17m. Profits before tax were £6.9m, an increase of 61 per cent from the year before.

The accounts also show R&D development for the year rose by a staggering 225 per cent, reflecting the group’s heavy investment in technology.

Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, said: “I’m delighted to see one of the UK’s leading independent video game developers branching further into film and TV with this ambitious studio investment in Oxfordshire.

“This is yet another vote of confidence in our world-leading creative industries and the government is committed to stimulating creativity, broadening opportunities and securing even more growth for this booming sector.”

Stuart Fenegan, who will produce Rogue Trooper, said: “World class UK crews and tax credit mean studio availability has been scarce in recent years.

“Jason, Chris and the Rebellion team establishing another major UK studio is huge.

“Thrilled for them and at the prospect of being able to shoot Rogue Trooper on truly home turf.”