It’s a new year, which means new movies and television programs filming in Atlanta. While we’re still in the slower part of the year, there’s no shortage of projects filming around the city. Here’s what we saw to start off 2020:
New this month, Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Gal Gadot are in town for Red Notice (KARATE DOLPHIN). This curiously coded film, an action-comedy, revolves around an Interpol agent tracking the world’s most wanted art thief. We first saw Red Notice in Stockbridge between January 9 and 12. After that, on the 13th, crews filmed near Conyers. Additional scenes were set up at Atlanta Metro Studios in Union City on January 15. Crews would continue working in the area until the 22nd. On January 25, a scene was shot in Norcross. Most recently, on the 30th, production returned to Union City.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe/Disney+ series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (TT) continued filming into the new year. Between January 4 and 6, crews worked out of Sweetwater Creek State Park near Douglasville. Overnight on January 11, Krog Street Tunnel was set up for filming. The production was next spotted at Pratt-Pullman Yard in Kirkwood on January 15. Most recently, scenes were filmed in Griffin on January 24. The Falcon and the Winder Soldier stars Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, reprising their MCU roles.
Respect (QOS/RPL), the Aretha Franklin biopic starring Jennifer Hudson filmed in Midtown at the Georgian Terrace between January 8 and 9. Signs were also spotted at North Avenue at the Connector. On January 19, additional scenes were shot in West Midtown. On the 22nd, the film moved up to Duluth, shooting at the Infinite Energy Center. Crews continued to work there on January 24. Most recently, the production has been downtown, filming at the First Congregational Church of Atlanta on January 27. Respect also features Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Mary J. Blige, Tate Donovan, and Tituss Burgess.
As we mentioned last month, there are actually two Aretha Franklin projects currently in production in Atlanta. Aside from Respect, Genius: Aretha (AF), the third season of National Geographic’s Genius series, is also filming. Filming for this production took place in Norcross on January 8 and 12. Signs were posted at Piedmont Road and Peachtree Street in Midtown on January 14. A basecamp was set up in Marietta at the Cobb Civic Center for filming on Marietta Square between the 21st and the 23. Most recently, the series was spotted in Porterdale on January 28.
Underground Railroad (UGRR), the Amazon series based on the novel by Colson Whitehead, filmed in Dawsonville between January 22 and 23 as well as between January 27 and 28. A scene was also shot in Stone Mountain Park on January 29.
The CW’s Black Lightning (SIGN) also continued filming into the new year. The series filmed downtown on January 10. On both the 15th and the 21st, crews filmed in Decatur. Another scene was shot back in downtown Atlanta on January 23.
Also shooting this month, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (EEE) was at Pinewood Atlanta Studios between January 27 and 30. Doom Patrol (GRANT), for DC Universe, filmed in Conyers on January 13, 15, and 16. On the 27th, a scene was shot at Emory. Chris Pratt’s The Tomorrow War (BONEYARD) has wrapped, but left with one more scene filmed downtown, on January 12, complete with the iconic red smoke these shoots have been known for during the last several months. FOX’s The Resident (TR) mostly stuck to it usual digs in Conyers, filming there throughout the month. The CW’s Dynasty (CROSS EYE) was spotted in Suwanee on January 17 and in Norcross on the 24th. CBS’s MacGyver (EYE) filmed downtown near Peachtree Center on January 23.
And finally this month, state auditors have begun looking into the economic impact of Georgia’s film tax credits. After other agencies have been targeted for spending cuts in the current and upcoming fiscal years, the film credit cost has been more heavily scrutinized. The auditors’ findings claim that the economic impact of the film tax credits have been overexaggerated, and that the money lost on the credits could have instead gone to other agencies. They go on to claim that the revenue which does flow in from the film industry is not enough to offset the credits.
The Department of Economic Development disputed the auditors’ findings, stating that there’s no guarantee any revenue would be reinvested into communities and that the film industry is not being accurately measured in the audit.
While our tax credits may not be perfect, it’s important to remember that they’re the primary reason we have so many productions here. As was the case with New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Illinois, and Louisiana, when the credits dry up, so do the projects. Sure, a few remain, but once-bustling industries shrink and jobs don’t return.
It would seem that the state auditors think Georgia would bring more revenue from a smaller industry without tax breaks than a larger industry with the current system. Whether that’s true or not remains up to debate.