a series of exciting new projects at the Cannes Film Festival, including funding of feature film, “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”
. Jessica Biel
("New Year's Eve"), Jeffrey Dean Morgan
") and young actress, Chloe Grace Moretz
") have reportedly signed on to star in the New Orleans-set drama. According to
The Hollywood Reporter, the film “follows Henry (Morgan), a grieving widower who recently lost his wife (Biel) in a car accident, as he finds refuge by helping an imaginative young girl (Moretz) fulfill her dream of building a raft and sailing across the Atlantic Ocean." Bill Purple
will direct from a script by Robbie Pickering and begin principle photography for the project this fall in New Orleans!
Biel will produce as well with Michelle Purple
under their production company, Iron Ocean Films
alongside Preferred Content's Ross M. Dinerstein
and AngelWorld's Darby Angel.
Excitingly enough, this project will be the first professional collaboration between Biel and her fiance, Justin Timberlake
. He is set to compose the film's soundtrack and serve as music supervisor. MTV
makes note of Timberlake’s “self-imposed” vacation from the music industry to focus on his film career and wonders if this means he will also make an appearance in this film. We can hope so!
Plus, we love to see actors make it back to the Hollywood South! In this case, Morgan will return to New Orleans to film “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” as he shot crime thriller, "The Courier" here in October 2010.
Hollywood heartthrob, Paul Walker
, is making his way down to New Orleans to begin filming on the new movie, “Hours
”. In this movie, Walker is taking on the emotionally (and physically) demanding role of Nolan, who is riding out Hurricane Katrina with his newborn baby. Nolan’s wife has died in childbirth, and the premature baby is at odds with the elements as the father and child struggle to survive. Paul Walker is the central figure in this film and is in almost every scene, which is filming here in Louisiana this spring. The production team notes that this isn’t just a movie about Hurricane Katrina, but a family story. The writer says that he fell in love the characters and story of this screenplay, and even Walker has been drawing upon his personal life to add depth to his performance. Walker, a father himself made the statement
, “my little girl means the whole world to me. I really want to believe that if I was placed in the same situation that I would rise above, that I would be able to see it through the end and do what it would take to make sure my baby came out on top
.” This latest addition to the Hollywood South is set to hit the Sundance Film Festival
in early 2013, as it plans to wrap in June.
For more on this story, visit the Washington Post
The continuous momentum of the Louisiana Entertainment industry has been a topic of local and national attention for the past 2 years- but now, it has even captured the notice of Forbes
. The famous publication recently released an in-depth analysis
of the success of the Hollywood south. Mentioning some of the more obvious specifics, such as the tax incentives and low cost of living, the article also discussed how the cultural community here in New Orleans is fueling the growth of this industry. Kotkin writes
, “the Big Easy and the state of Louisiana have managed to turn the region’s creative energy into something of an economic driver
”. From artists, musicians, and actors, to special effects gurus and animators, the residents of NOLA provide directors and production teams a wide employee base without having to bring in outside talent. This, in turn, lowers costs and continues to add to the appeal of a LA shot picture.
The culture here, including history, food and architecture, has also attracted a great many celebrity residents. Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Saundra Bullock, Lawrence Fishbourne, Nicholas Cage
and John Goodma
n have all purchased homes here in New Orleans- and frequently host celebrity guests. Many local actors are also making their break into the big time thanks to their proximity to the Hollywood South. Brett Lapeyrouse
performed in locally-filmed “21 Jump Street
” alongside Channing Tatum
and Jonah Hill
, and Madison Wolfe
recently played the daughter of Will Ferrell
in the new comedy “Dog Fight
”. Both Lapeyrouse and Wolfe received training at the John Robert Powers Performing Arts Academy
. Local resources, like JRP
, are also seeing the benefits of this boom in our area’s entertainment industry. The experts are predicting that New Orleans may rival Los Angeles for the number of projects filmed, which would be an enormous spotlight on Louisiana. This is exciting news for everyone here in Louisiana, not to mention everyone at Southern Celebrity Gossip.
For the full article, please visit Forbes
As the momentum for Hollywood South continues to grow, celebrity sightings are becoming more common in New Orleans than Mardi Gras beads. Just this past week, Sylvester Stallone
at Whole Foods, and singer Pink
was seen having drinks at the Hotel Monteleone. Combine that with numerous Leonardo DiCaprio
encounters, and more then one spotting of the Jolie-Pitts
and it’s hard to argue with the growing popularity of the Crescent City. But has this flood of Hollywood A-List caused NOLA locals to become a little jaded? Recently NOLA.com
reported that both Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger
were in the French Quarter filming their new action flick. The article made a point to mention that many of the passers-by were entirely unimpressed by the cameos! It writes, “The star’s presence didn’t cause the pandemonium it might have caused in other, less jaded locales, and the Bourbon Street scene whirled on, with the Quarter’s characters acting out their own dramas
.” While many did stop for the photo opportunity, the outcome was far from expected. This has your Southern Celebrity Gossiper wondering- have celebrities become so commonplace here that they go almost unnoticed? And is this a good or a bad thing? For those of us professionally involved in the entertainment industry, it is a VERY good thing. The more comfortable celebs feel here in our city, the more likely they’ll stay- and the more productive filming is (without gaggles of fans wanting autographs) the more likely it is that NOLA will stay the Hollywood of the South. And as for the buzz on what celebrities are working on here in New Orleans, you can always trust in SCG to give you the latest… from a respectful distance.
Singer Joshua Ledet
has been astounding audiences and viewers on the hit television series American Ido
l for the past few weeks, and we’re thrilled that he is still in the running! Ledet is a local of Westlake, Louisiana and a graduate
of Westlake High School. Growing up he was influenced by the music of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston
, and more recently, by Fantasia Barrino
. Having previously auditioned for American Ido
l, Ledet was thrilled to just make the first cut this year. But, his increasingly wonderful performances have kept him in the running following each of the eliminations. Currently, 19 year old Joshua is in the top 7
with a few weeks left in the competition. His soulful, classic Motown renditions have gained him specific attention and have us all hopeful that he’ll come out of Idol victorious. We’re also happy to see he’s brought some of that Hollywood South heritage with him on stage. Perhaps his most famous performance was the classic A Change is Gonna Come
by Mississippi-born, Sam Cooke
. Definitely check out the video
of this amazing performance, and be sure to tune in and vote for this local star!
Rewind just a few days, and you’ll see that we just reported on how a Louisiana actor landed a role in “The Hunger Games
”. Well now we’re happy to announce that a “Hunger Games
” actor has landed a role in Louisiana! Leading actor, Liam Hemsworth
will be taking on a part in the new movie “Empire State
” which will be filming throughout the state over this spring. The young actor can previously be seen in the movie “The Last Song
” where he played the love interest of real-life girlfriend, Miley Cyrus
. “Empire State
” is starring Dwayne Johnson
, who was recently here in New Orleans working on the newest G.I. Joe
flick. According to sources at NOLA.com
, “the film is about two childhood friends who plan to rob an armored car depository, and the NYPD officer who stands in their way
". The project will be shot mostly in New Orleans, but also some of the surrounding cities such as Mandeville. Filming begins on April 30th and executives plan to wrap after just 3 weeks! Everything in Hollywood moves so fast- even here in the Hollywood South!
New movie “On the Road
” based off of the best-selling novel by Jack Kerouac filmed in Louisiana just last year. Shooting predominately in Amite, LA, directors brought an all star cast “on the road”. Leading in this picture are actors Sam Riley
, Garrett Hedlund
, Kristin Stewart
, Amy Adams
and Kirsten Dunst
. As well as local talent! Making yet another film appearance is also the local young actress, Madison Wolfe
. Madison previously worked in the movie “Re-Kill
” before taking on the role of Dodie in “On the Road
”, and Will Ferrell
’s daughter in “Dog Fight
”. Madison began as a student of the John Robert Powers Performing Arts Academy
and has had tremendous success in the past few years.
While this the production team for “On the Road
” has yet to announce a formal release date, the trailer and some great new pictures have leaked their way onto the media circuit. The image below shows actress Kristin Stewart, along with Madison, which is gaining national attention for the budding entertainment community here in Louisiana.
For more on this story, visit ontheflix.com
, or you can watch the official trailer on youtube
Many of the stars from the hit movie “The Help
” were recently honored at the 2012 Academy Awards. Jessica Chastain
and Viola Davis
were both nominated, and actress Octavia Spencer
even took home the Oscar! “The Help
” which filmed in Mississippi, parts of Alabama and Florida won’t be Viola Davis’ last project here in the Gulf South. The Oscar-nominee has already signed on to appear in the new movie “Ender’s Game
This movie is scheduled to begin filming in New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana this month in preparation for its March 2013 release. Indie Wire
reports that, “she'll be taking a solid role here, playing a psyschologist who oversees the children who are being trained, and develops games to test their skills.
” So while Davis may not have landed the Academy Award, she did land a strong part in one of Hollywood South’s new pictures! Keep an eye out
for her and other stars, including Ben Kingsely
and Harrison Ford
as they make their way to New Orleans for this film.
Two Louisiana directors have earned their 15 minutes of fame- and they managed to do it in just over 14! Authors William Joyce
and Brandon Oldenburg
put together a short cartoon called “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
” which has just received an academy award. The short, which is a production of Moonbot Studios
in Shreveport tells a “magical story about the joy of books
”. Specific to the origin of this studio, the short also suggests a New Orleans theme. The main character, Morris Lessmore has his library destroyed in a Katrina-esque storm. Following the destruction, all of his books are replaced with an enchanted library of flying volumes. A brief clip of this short is available on Moonbot’s website
. This special received the award for Best Animated Short Film, and has made the city of Shreveport, as well as the state of Louisiana very proud of the talent that we have here! To watch the short in its entirety, visit youtube.com.
With the Academy Award Nominees having just be announced, everyone certainly has a lot to gossip about. Why shouldn’t they? With movies like “The Artist”,
” and “The Descendants
” up for best picture there are definitely a lot of different opinions. But one category is more clear that others: Best Supporting Actress. Having just won the Golden Globe in the same role, Octavia Spencer
is a shoe-in for the Oscar as well.Spencer
is originally from Montgomery Alabama, and got her start in a Mississippi filmed movie, “A Time to Kill”
. In this movie the budding actress had the opportunity to work alongside Samuel L. Jackson
, Sandra Bullock
, and Mathew McConoughey
. After wrapping this project, Octavia Spencer relocated to Los Angeles were she has been featured in countless projects. But all of this success has managed to bring her back to right where she started! The Jackson, Mississippi set movie “The Help
” has put Octavia’s name all over the press… not to mention the film awards. In the film, she plays the supporting character Minny opposite actresses Viola Davis
and Emma Stone
. The movie deals with racial tensions that existed in the 1960’s in Mississippi. The movie was shot predominantly in the town of Jackson, as well as Alabama and parts of Florida.
Octavia isn’t the only star in “The Help”
nominated for an Oscar. Viola Davis has been nominated for best actress, as well as Jessica Chastain
who is up against Spencer for best supporting actress. Despite this rivalry, the two cast-mates remain close friends and recently were interviewed by Tribute Movies
about their work together. The movie is also nominated for “Best Picture”. “The Help”
has shined a light, not only on the rich history here in the south, but also on the incredible talent that is from here. We are all hopeful that Spencer’s performance is recognized at the 2012 Oscars.
For a complete list of nominees visit the Oscar’s official website