July 01--Updated at 5:05 p.m.
An MGM movie with familiar faces from TV is filming this week in Cleveland County.
Filming is taking place Tuesday through Thursday at a mica mine along Highway 29 in Grover for the film "Max," and staging is taking place at Kings Mountain High School.
"They did a facitly rental so the gym could be used for serving food," said Cleveland County Schools spokesman Greg Shull.
"Max" stars actors Lauren Graham ("Gilllmore Girls"), Thomas Haden Church ("Wings") and Jay Hernandez ("Nashville"). The family film follows a dog that helped soldiers in Afghanistan as it returns to the United States. The dog is adopted by his handler's family after suffering from a traumatic experience.
According to the film's page on the Internet Movie Database website, it's set for a January 2015 release.
Threat to future filming
The movie is only the latest Hollywood project to come to the county.
In 2011, Cleveland County hosted scenes of "The Hunger Games," bringing such stars at Jennifer Lawrence to Shelby.
The filming of "Hunger Games" brought $16 million to Cleveland County's economy as cast and crew spent money in local restaurants, hotels and businesses, The Star previously reported.
The filming of "Max" comes on the heels of the threat that the county and state could lose filming incentives if they aren't renewed at the end of the year. Film projects that meet a certain production budget standard receive tax incentives for producing films and television shows in North Carolina.
Since 2010, the state of North Carolina has offered a 25 percent tax credit as an incentive to production companies, a credit that is expiring on Jan. 1, 2015, unless it's renewed by the state legislature this year.
Filming requests come to Cleveland County at least once a week, but if the incentive credits expire, the county wouldn't be able to land any filming projects, Jackie Sibley, Cleveland County's director of travel and tourism previously told The Star.
"The economic impact of filming in North Carolina goes beyond the millions of dollars spent during the project. The residual tourism goes on for years. The media attention equals thousands of dollars of free advertising," Sibley previously said. "Just having 'The Hunger Games' filmed in Shelby has exceeded the $16 million impact during the filming."
What's been filmed in North Carolina?
-The FOX TV series "Sleepy Hollow", whose second season premieres this fall, is filmed in Wilmington.
-'The Last of the Mohicans' was filmed in parts of North Carolina, including Asheville and Chimney Rock State Park.
-Three seasons of HBO's "Homeland" have been filmed in Charlotte, and some scenes were shot in Kings Mountain, Belmont and Gastonia.
-Principal filming for 'Iron Man 3' was done in Wilmington, with some scenes shot in Cary.
-'The Hunger Games' reaping scene was shot in Shelby, and the rest of the film was primarily shot in western North Carolina.
-'Dirty Dancing' was filmed partly at Lake Lure Inn in North Carolina.
-Steven Spielberg filmed 'The Color Purple' in Anson County in 1985.
The film industry in North Carolina, 2013:
-Four feature films were made in North Carolina.
-The film industry brought 3,569 jobs to the state.
-'Safe Haven' was filmed mainly in the state, with a reported spending of $17.2 million.
-'The Conjuring' reportedly spent $16.99 million in the state during its filming.
-A total of $145 million was spent in North Carolina for film production.
Want to be in 'Max'?
Casting directors are looking for:
--6 men in their 20s or 30s of Middle Eastern, Persian, Indian, Afghani or Hispanic decent with firearms experience. Must be comfortable with displaying the Taliban. Should be willing to grow a beard.
--Children between the ages of 7 to 11 of Middle Eastern, Persian, Indian, Afghani or Hispanic decent.
Send e-mails to email@example.com with subject as Taliban or Boy Villager.
Submissions need a current photo, name, parents name if a minor, phone number, clothing size, height, weight, address
Who is involved in the film?
--Directed by Boaz Yakin, also directed "Remember the Titans" and wrote the screen play for "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time"
--Lauren Graham, also starred in the TV show "Gilmore Girls" and the TV show "Parenthood."
--Thomas Haden Church, also starred in TV show "Wings," the film "We Bought a Zoo" and "Spider Man 3."
--Jay Hernandez, also starred in the TV show "Nashville."
What's the plot?
A dog that helped soldiers in Afghanistan as it returns to the United States. The dog is adopted by his handler's family after suffering from a traumatic experience.
Where else is "Max" filming in NC?
Source: IMDB and Project Casting
When is the release date?
Jan. 30, 2015
Casting calls for a MGM film "Max" note scenes will be filmed this week in Kings Mountain.
Reporter Jessica Pickens and photographer Ben Earp are heading out that way to find out more.
The film, according to its IMDB page, stars Lauren Graham (pictured) and Thomas Haden Church.
Check back for details as we learn of them.
(c)2014 The Star (Shelby, N.C.)
Visit The Star (Shelby, N.C.) at www.shelbystar.com
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