If you want to fulfill your acting dream, now is your chance.
Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins announced during Tuesday’s city council meeting that Sony Pictures plans to film the story of former boxing champion George Foreman.
Sony representatives were scheduled to shoot in New Orleans but Hurricane Ida changed their plans.
Their plan now is to reset the movie here in Shreveport. They have been working with the mayor’s office and the city’s economic development team.
Sony line producer, Wendy Williams said the title of the movie is “Heart of a Lion” the life story of George Foreman.
“Our goal here is to bring the movie in for our first block of shooting and potentially our second,” Williams explained. “The first block would be 34 shooting days starting at the beginning of November at many different locations around the greater Shreveport area.”
The entire movie is period-based and captures Foreman’s life from the time he was 11 to age 45.
“So we span basically the late 50s through the mid-80,” Williams said. “We’re going to be looking for, right now we’re on the hunt desperately for hotel rooms for the number of people we have to bring in.”
Williams is doing a casting call and anticipates hiring about 1,500 extras locally.
“Even though this is not exactly what we planned for this movie, what we’ve discovered is this amazingly huge resource of creative talent here in this area,” Williams said. “The architecture is unlike anywhere else for a movie like ours. We may have been running from the storm, but we kind of ended up in exactly the right place which kind of brings this full circle. We always end up where we’re supposed to be.”
The goal when they go into the different towns is to spend and hire as much they can locally.
“We will be bringing in a lot of people,” she said. “We will be building sets and will need everything from lumber, food, rental cars, hotels, location fees because we are looking for a number of homes in the area. We’re going to be shooting at arenas and a number of different scenarios. Our goals are to have as much local community involvement as possible and to spend as much of our money as possible locally.”
Williams anticipates when all is factored in, they will spend somewhere around $5 million in Shreveport.
“Everybody in town has been incredibly welcoming,” Williams said. “When we came here, Shreveport was our Hurricane evacuation plan, and then we got here and we were going to dinner driving through the neighborhoods, we were like, ‘this is a pretty great place.’ We’re happy to be here and everyone has been incredibly hospitable along the way.”
Mayor Perkins said he’s spoken to the council’s chair and vice-chair about things that need to be expedited for filming.
“We’ll be as accommodating as possible,” Perkins said.”Myself and Drew Mouton, (City of Shreveport Economic Development Director) went out to LA and we were talking to Sony Pictures and their executives about not just this production, but also other productions in the city. We’re trying to do some more long-term investments and have some exciting projects just like this one, coming into our city.”