News Column

As 'Dome' prepares to close, road to 'Sleepy Hollow' opens

July 29, 2013

YellowBrix

July 29--Chances are, they've been drinking a pint next to you at your favorite Wilmington pub or examining North Carolina produce right in front of you at the downtown Riverfront Farmers' Market one Saturday and you never knew it.

Dean Norris, Rachelle Lefevre and other cast members of one of network TV's hottest summer shows, "Under the Dome," have immersed themselves in the local scene during shoots in New Han over, Brunswick and Pender counties for the CBS drama, which is slated to wrap filming on Wednesday.

During their final days in town, Norris explored Bald Head Island, Lefevre took in a Rockabilly show at Brooklyn Arts Center and Mackenzie Lintz shopped at downtown boutique Edge of Urge for "Dome's" wrap party, according to Twitter.

Not to worry though, locals will soon be able to follow the adventures of a whole new crop of actors.

"Sleepy Hollow" cast members, including up-and-coming British actor Tom Mison, began work on Hollywood East's latest TV production this past weekend.

The Fox series, which is produced by 20th Century Fox Television, filmed its pilot episode in Salisbury in March. The remaining 12 episodes of its 13-episode, first-season order kicked off filming this weekend in Wilmington and New Bern.

"Sleepy Hollow" stars Tom Mison ("Salmon Fishing in the Yemen") as Ichabod Crane, a Revolutionary War hero mysteriously transported to modern times along with a headless being he thought he had killed. He teams up with a Sleepy Hollow police officer (Nicole Beharie of "42") to solve a supernatural mystery that dates back centuries.

The series, which also stars Orlando Jones and Katia Winter, is co-created by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci ("Star Trek" and "Transformers" franchises) alongside Phillip Iscove and Len Wiseman ("Hawaii Five-0").

This past week, "Sleepy Hollow" film crews were busy building sets at two stages at EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, while location scouts and set decorators dropped off props and equipment Sunday afternoon in the main front courtyard at Tryon Palace in New Bern in preparation for a shoot scheduled there Monday and Tuesday nights. Filming is not expected to disrupt the attraction's operating hours or scheduled tours, according to a Tryon Palace news release.

"Sleepy Hollow" is expected to hire about 150 crew members and shoot for about six months.

The supernatural action-adventure series is the fourth TV series to film in the region this year. Filming at Screen Gems will overlap with production of HBO's "Eastbound and Down" and "Under the Dome," which is expected to return to Wilmington for filming of a second season, according to local film industry sources. CBS has not released its plans for the summer series.

Before "Under the Dome" wraps on Wednesday, locals might spot a few familiar faces Monday in the 00 block of Brookwood Avenue near Carlton and Borden avenues in Wilmington.

Neighborhood residents have played host to film crews often since filming for the series began in February because the series' fictional town of Chester's Mill is composed of homes in the area.

Parts of downtown Burgaw and Southport round out the town, which is home to a wide assortment of townsfolk with intriguing back stories, including Lefevre as investigative reporter Julia Shumway, whose husband suddenly disappears when the mysterious dome falls from the sky; Norris as "Big Jim" Rennie, a town councilman and car salesman; Alexander Koch as Junior, his disturbed son; and Natalie Martinez as a sheriff's office deputy.

So far, the locally filmed Stephen King adaptation has been a summertime hit among critics and audiences. Since its release June 24 on CBS, the series has drawn more than 20 million viewers on multiple platforms. The first season will available on DVD Nov. 5.

Meanwhile, local star watchers won't have to pick favorites among the Port City's productions on Monday, Sept. 16.

"Sleepy Hollow" will premiere at 9 p.m., one hour before the season finale of "Under the Dome" on CBS.

Cassie Foss: 343-2365

On Twitter: @WilmOnFilm

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(c)2013 the Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.)

Visit the Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.) at www.starnewsonline.com

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