News Column

Sci-fi thriller may be filmed in Derby? [New Haven Register (CT)]

May 31, 2013

YellowBrix

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich

Register Correspondent

DERBY -- It could soon be lights, camera and action if a Hollywood director opts to film a new sci-fi thriller here.

While details are still elusive, Economic Development Director and Chief Administrative Officer Sheila O'Malley said a casting company may be looking for 40-45 extras if a movie, tentatively dubbed "Midnight Special," is filmed in parts of Derby.

According to the website, Casting360.com, Derby is listed as a location where extras would be needed. A company representative said extras, who have no speaking parts, but rather are needed to fill background scenes, could earn up to $250-$300 a day.

O'Malley said she hasn't yet been contacted by anyone, and didn't have any dates yet when a casting call might go out for extras.

Regardless, she said anytime there's potential, "it's great for the city," and the positive impact it would have on local businesses.

Mark Dixon, of the state Office of Film, Television and Digital Media, who oversees location services, said he was unaware of any movies slated to be filmed in Derby.

According to several websites and blogs, writer/director Jeff Nichols is teaming up with actor Michael Shannon to start production of the sci-fi thriller in February.

Nichols and Shannon recently worked together on a film now in theaters, "Mud," which also stars Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon.

Details of the plot for "Midnight Special" have not been unveiled, but several Hollywood blogs and websites describe it as a "contemporary science fiction chase film."

A few years ago, a casting call was put out for another movie, "Prisoners" which was supposed to be filmed in Derby.

O'Malley's office was inundated with people hoping to grab some Hollywood movie magic, but the film was never shot here. The director ended up moving production to Atlanta.

The Valley has had its 15 minutes of fame several times before when Hollywood came calling. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet starred in "Revolutionary Road," with several car scenes featuring the "Titanic" stars shot along Route 8 in Beacon Falls.

Tom Cruise came here when "War of the Worlds" was partially shot in Naugatuck. And in the early 1990s, the late Gregory Peck, along with Danny DeVito and Penelope Ann Miller, came to Seymour to shoot scenes at the former Seymour Specialty Wire Co.

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