Hollywood in Charlottesville... Could it Be?

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

January 9, 2006

Hollywood will soon begin filming the sequel to one of its biggest blockbuster comedies and rumor has it they are shooting it at locations in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.

Universal film crews may be calling "lights, camera, action" in some familiar locations.

The Virginia Film Office in Richmond told us some activity is taking place in the area.

"The rumors are that there's a sequel to the 'Bruce Almighty' film coming to the area," said Charlottesville-Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO Mark Shore.

If Hollywood signs on the dotted line, production crews could arrive in Charlottesville any day and start rolling on a big motion picture that stars Steve Carrell and Morgan Freeman.

"We understand both the city and the county have sites that may be of interest," said Shore.

Star of 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin,' Carrell will revise his news anchor character Evan Baxter from 'Bruce Almighty.' In the sequel 'Evan Almighty' he must build an ark in preparation for a great flood.

Freeman will be stepping back into the role of "God."

"We understand that some of the folks involved with it have a particular tie to Charlottesville and that may be the reason that Charlottesville was chosen," said Shore.

The films director is from Virginia. If he is successful in bringing a major motion picture here, it could mean a huge boost for the local economy with crews staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants, and shopping for production materials in our stores.

"Major films typically can be anywhere from $2 million to $5 million or more for a local economy," said Shore.

"It means people being exposed to our community who may not know about us who may [see the film and] want to come back and vacation here," said Albemarle County spokesperson Lee Catlin.

It could also bring more jobs to the area. If the movie is filmed here, you won't be seeing Jim Carey or Jennifer Aniston--they both declined roles for the sequel.

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