Photograph by Matt Walljasper
The summer heat isn’t slowing down the Hollywood of the South. Those familiar yellow waypoint signs on the roadside are continuing to direct cast, crew, and onlookers to movie magic in progress. Many productions are shooting both in and around Atlanta right now; here’s this month’s detailed look.
“The Divergent Series: Allegiant Part I” (production code: ELEMENT) ramped up production just after our post last month. This installment has Beatrice “Tris” Prior (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) dealing with the fallout from learning that there is a living world outside the ruins of Chicago. Filming started on May 20 around Emory’s Briarcliff Campus. At the start of June, signs were spotted near Boulevard and Englewood Avenue (or close to Boulevard Crossing Park). Crews had filmed part of the previous installment, “Insurgent” (MINERAL) here last year as well. On the June 13, filming took place in Norcross and has now moved out near Rome, Georgia. OnLocationVacations has them pegged at the Lindale Mill until June 23.
“Captain America: Civil War” (GRAPPA) made another big splash recently by taking over the Civic Center. In mid-June, the Piedmont-facing side was transformed into the “Institute for Infectious Diseases.” When we went to investigate, we found a prop truck crashed through the gate. Luckily, a local resident happened to catch the vehicle’s demise, a practical-effects stunt, and posted it on YouTube for all to see. Additional filming has since been shot deeper into the Civic Center, away from prying eyes. Before that, May 27 and 28 were spent filming at the new Porsche North America headquarters. As we mentioned last month, this film has almost every famous Marvel character—with one possible exception. Samuel L. Jackson has said that his character, ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. director, Nick Fury, will not be appearing in “Captain America.” If that’s disappointing, just remember, Marvel is prone to do reshoots and hide things until release. Never say never.
Michael Keaton is in town pointing at scoreboards filming a biopic about Ray Kroc, the driving force behind McDonald’s. “The Founder” (Speedee, LLC) has stuck to the outskirts of metro Atlanta and further corners of Georgia. Filming started in June near Griffin and Thomaston. After that, it moved to the Canton Theatre in downtown Canton. Since then, the production has constructed an old McDonald’s eatery in Douglasville. Going forward, they’ll be moving into Newnan, specifically the Coweta County Administration Building, on July 1. Oh, and if you’re looking for fun celebrities to spot, just wait for Ron Swanson himself. Nick Offerman will play Dick McDonald, one of the brothers who originally founded the fast food chain.
“Keeping Up With the Joneses” (Scorpion) continued its ITP spread this month. The Zach Galifianakis/Jon Hamm comedy finished out May downtown near Courtland and Andrew Young International Boulevard. On June 9, crews filmed near Buckhead Atlanta and then headed back downtown at the Hyatt Regency for the next few days. After that, signs were plopped near the Lindbergh MARTA station pointing to the Original Pancake House at Cheshire Bridge and LaVista Road.
Tom Cruise made quite the buzz in May and early June when “Mena” (WTM) came to Georgia. For the most part, the production was confined to Ball Ground, but it did make it into Roswell on May 20. In the film, set in the 1980s, Cruise plays a pilot who runs jobs for both the CIA and as a drug runner. “Mena”’s time in Georgia was short; this project already has moved on.
We’ve also caught wind of a new locally filmed reality competition show called “Home Free” (HF). It will air on FOX next month and is hosted by Mike Holmes. The show will pit nine couples against each other in a series of renovation challenges in order to win their dream home. Production signs appeared near the Kennesaw Charter Science and Math Academy on May 21 and near Stockbridge on June 9.
Jamie Foxx’s new project, “Sleepless Nights” (SN) just began filming. Productions signs were spotted at the Southern Regional Medical Center on June 16 and near Boat Rock Road on the June 15. Foxx will star as an undercover police officer investigating a nightclub in search of his kidnapped son. We’ll also see veteran Atlanta-filmed actor Scoot McNairy, of “Halt and Catch Fire” (HCF) fame.
Additionally, “Survivor’s Remorse” (SRS2) filmed RonReaco Lee “driving” (on a trailer) an Aston Martin along Peachtree in south Buckhead and Midtown on May 22, USA’s “Satisfaction” (SAT) was at the Georgian Terrace on the May 28, and BET’s “Being Mary Jane” (SNC) was on Lucile Avenue. “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” (BLLHW) is gone for now, but filmed at the Harlem Nights Ultra Lounge on Courtland on May 27. “The Walking Dead” (SF) left Senoia to film in Hampton and FOX’s “Sleepy Hollow” is set to begin production here this summer. When it filmed in North Carolina, they used SH on their signs. Odds are that won’t change.
And those rumors of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part: 2” (C4) reshoots from last month? Confirmed true. Jennifer Lawrence was seen in Buckhead during the weekend of June 6 and C4 signs were up in Dawsonville on June 3. Popular theory is that the film’s epilogue was being shot. Maybe some of you eagle-eyed readers familiar with Dawsonville can figure that one out come November.