Stars align to keep filming close to home
Some Hollywood star power is lighting up local film production.
Topping the list is Tom Hanks, whose production company, Playtone Productions, is about to begin shooting “Larry Crowne” next week in various locations around Los Angeles. Hanks directs and stars in the comedic drama opposite Julia Roberts, with whom he paired in the 2007 Universal Pictures film “Charlie Wilson’s War.”
Adam Sandler also is starring in and producing a romantic comedy with Jennifer Aniston called “Just Go With It” that has been filming for several weeks around town, including scenes last week at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
And “Pirates of the Caribbean” star Orlando Bloom recently wrapped his independently produced feature film, “The Good Doctor,” a low-budget suspense drama about a young doctor played by Bloom who develops an infatuation with a patient played by Riley Keough.
Bloom and his co-producers spent five weeks filming around Los Angeles, including scenes from the Venice Pier, a house in Van Nuys and the now-defunct Century City Doctors Hospital.
Though “The Good Doctor” is set in L.A., the production might have shot in North Carolina or Georgia were it not for California’s new film incentives, said Jonathan King, a producer on the film. The film has a budget of less than $10 million and received approval for a $1.1-million tax credit, according to the California Film Commission.
“We very much wanted to be here so everybody could sleep in our own beds,” said King, who also worked on the DreamWorks films “Dreamgirls” and “The Soloist,” both of which filmed locally. “The incentives put us over the top.”
“Just Go With It,” which is being distributed by Sony’s Columbia Pictures unit, began filming on the Sony lot March 1 followed by on-location shoots throughout the area, including at the L’Ermitage Beverly Hills luxury hotel and the Stephen S. Wise Temple in Bel-Air. The production will move to Hawaii this week, a spokeswoman for the film said.
“Larry Crowne,” which has a crew of about 140, will film entirely in L.A. Hanks was unavailable for comment, but a person close to the production said filming would occur over 10 weeks in the San Fernando Valley, Long Beach, Pasadena and the Los Feliz neighborhood, including a planned scooter scene in Griffith Park.
The movie, which is independently financed but will be distributed through Universal Pictures, tells the story of a middle-aged man forced to embark on a new career. It is the second movie Hanks has directed, after the 1996 Fox film “That Thing You Do!” On “Larry Crowne,” he shares a writing credit with Nia Vardalos of 2002’s “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”