It’s official. Hollywood North means the North Okanagan these days.
The Okanagan Film Commission has confirmed that Walt Disney Pictures will begin filming Tomorrowland in the Enderby, Grindrod and Armstrong areas Monday. The film, which stars George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, will be shot off and on locally until mid-September.
“Having a film, cast and crew of this calibre coming to the Okanagan to shoot is a highlight in the history of filming in the Okanagan,” said Jon Summerland, with the Okanagan Film Commission.
“We will definitely see an increase in popularity for filming in the Okanagan after the release of this film on Dec. 12, 2014. Being in the company of as many Oscar-winning filmmakers and actors is also a highlight in my career so far.”
The production was becoming the worst kept secret in the region, as people were making social media comments about sighting the celebrities.
“I know a bunch of guys are staying at Fortune’s Landing and they are coming in here for breakfast,” said Greg McCune, with Sutherland’s Bakery in Enderby.
“They were building sets early and picking stuff up at the hardware store.”
There have also been reports of crew members stopping at the Riverfront Pub in Grindrod.
Much of the action will apparently focus in a corn field.
The publicist for Tomorrowland could not be reached for comment.
Enderby’s business leaders were also kept in the dark.
“We have no official word of anything,” said Corinne Peard, Enderby Chamber of Commerce general manager.
But even the speculation is raising the media profile of Enderby, Armstrong and Grindrod.
“We’re getting a lot of attention right now,” said Peard.
McCune believes a big-budget film will have a number of long-term benefits for the community, particularly by increasing the region’s profile.
“As they get the filming going, it will be really exciting,” said McCune, who is an Enderby councillor.
Parts of Tomorrowland are also being filmed in Vancouver and the movie is expected to be released in December 2014.