06 October, 2013

Star spotting 10/5: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Paul Walker, Jason Momoa

Jennifer Lawrence, Jason Momoa and Jim Carrey are all hard at work on Georgia sets.

Leading up to next month's release of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," the mega-franchise is in full-swing filming mode yet again. "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" is back in Atlanta, stars and all. Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Julianne Moore in particular have been spotted all over the city, with more of the sprawling cast expected in town over the next several weeks. So far, filming has taken place at Screen Gems Studios, Downtown at the Georgia World Congress Center, at Sweetwater Creek State Park in Lithia Springs, at Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville with the film currently set up at Pullman Yard in Atlanta's Kirkwood neighborhood.

When Lionsgate decided to split the final book in the series into two films, it was rumored that "Mockingjay - Part 2" would film together with "Part 1." While no official word on this has been issued, it would make sense if there is any truth to the rumors about certain top cast members looking for houses to rent during their stay. Francis Lawrence returns from "Catching Fire" to direct the final installments of the franchise. In addition to Lawrence, Hemsworth and Moore; the cast includes Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Dormer (who will be in attendance at the Savannah Film Festival to accept an award later this month), Patina Miller, Lily Rabe and Wes Chatham.

"Dumb and Dumber To" may not have been a highly anticipated sequel, thanks to two decades passing since the first film and a terrible prequel ("Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd," also shot in Atlanta) acting as a major buzzkill. But fans of the comedy classic have warmly welcomed the franchise back into the fold now that the Farrelly Brothers, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are all back in action. Filming started right around the same time as "Mockingjay - Part 1" in Atlanta's Cabbagetown and Grant Park neighborhoods. Production has so far moved around the state to Grantville and Monroe  and will film in Marietta next week. Kathleen Turner, Rob Riggle, Cam Neely and "The Walking Dead" star Laurie Holden co-star in the film. Jennifer Lawrence has also signed on for a cameo; the news breaking after she was spotted having dinner with Daniels and the Farrelly Brothers at Watershed a couple of weeks back.

"Fast & Furious 7" is another big Hollywood film that has been shooting most of its principal photography in Georgia. Filming has taken place throughout Downtown Atlanta and Grant Park, as well as in Norcross with more shooting scheduled in Forrest Park. Franchise staples Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, Dwayne Johnson and Lucas Black will all appear, as well as new additions Jason Statham, Kurt Russell, Djimon Hounsou and Tony Jaa.

I guess people are still asking for another SpongeBob movie, because "SpongeBob SquarePants 2" is currently filming the live action portion of the film in Savannah and will continue through November.

With all the film production going on, it might be hard to believe that Georgia's television production is growing at an even faster pace. After having success with shows like "The Walking Dead" and "Rectify," networks like AMC and Sundance, respectively, have proceeded to film more pilots in Georgia. "The Red Road," Sundance Channel's latest television series, has spent weeks filming northwest of Atlanta. Cartersville and Emerson in Bartow County were used the most, but shooting also took place in Acworth, Kingston, Sandy Springs and White. "The Red Road" stars Jason Momoa, Tom Sizemore, Martin Henderson and Julianne Nicholson. Another Sundance Channel original, Ray McKinnon's "Rectify," shot most of its acclaimed first season in Griffin. The show has been picked up for a second season, set to shoot at a later date back in Griffin.

"The Vampire Diaries" and its CW spinoff series, "The Originals," have shot for several months in Conyers and other select locations around Atlanta.

Season four of "The Walking Dead" is currently delayed after someone was injured on the Senoia set in early September. After AMC's tremendous success with the show and the ease of production in Georgia, they have filmed two new pilots here. The pilot for "Halt & Catch Fire" was filmed here this past spring and season one will began filming in Atlanta next month. The show is set in 1980s Texas and stars Scoot McNairy, Lee Pace, Mackenzie Davis and Kerry Bishé. AMC's "Line of Sight" has also been in Metro Atlanta in recent weeks. Filming in Atlanta, Cartersville, Kennesaw, Marietta and Peachtree City. The show stars "The Walking Dead" star David Morrissey, Samantha Mathis and Sarah Clarke.

New ABC show "Resurrection" has filmed at Screen Gems Studios, in Cartersville and other locations throughout Metro Atlanta. "Resurrection" stars Omar Epps, Kurtwood Smith, Frances Fisher and Samarie Armstrong.

Finally, BET shows "The Game" and "Being Mary Jane" continue their seemingly constant production schedule in town.

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