Morgan Freeman led ‘Gunner’ now filming in Birmingham area
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Moviegoers in Alabama will soon be able to find some local scenery on the big screen.
Gunner, starring Morgan Freeman and Luke Hemsworth, is currently in production in the Birmingham area.
Director Dimitri Logothetis said this is his first time shooting in Alabama, but knew early on the Magic City was the ideal place for “Gunner.”
“Originally last year, I went over to Mobile to prep another film and I thought that this picture would be perfect for Birmingham,” Logothetis said. “As a director, I always look for really unique places. There’s a lot of wonderfully unique locations here. There’s a lot of texture in the town. I was very much surprised, in a positive way, to see that. So, I’m very excited to be filming here.”
Producer Joel Schapio is no stranger to filming in Alabama. He worked on “Assassin” starring Bruce Willis, which filmed in Bessemer in 2021 and will release in theaters on March 31, and 2019′s “Into The Ashes.”
“This is one of my favorite places in the entire country to film,” Shapiro said. “This is my third or fourth project in Birmingham. It’s an incredibly warm environment for filmmakers. I think it’s one of the best places to shoot and we’re super appreciative.”
He said the area itself is a great tool for filmmakers to take advantage of.
“The area has so many great locations to film in and so much natural history for storytellers to really take advantage of,” he said. “So, for us, this is priceless.”
“Gunner” is written by Gary Scott Thompson, the man behind the Fast and Furious franchise. Shapiro said the film is an action-packed, high speed and super fun project.
Luke Hemsworth, the older brother of Liam and Chris Hemswoth, stars as a military veteran coming home to two children who, “feel estranged from him because Daddy’s been away fighting for America,” according to Shapiro. When a camping trip goes awry and sees his children kidnapped, he goes after them.
“He takes out a number of bad guys on that hunt,” Logothetis said.
The leader of the bad guys is being played by acting legend Morgan Freeman.
Shapiro said working with Freeman is a bucket list-type thing for him.
“He’s played God,” he said smiling. “Both Morgan Freeman and Luke Hemsworth, incredible professionals who exude talent. The chemistry of them on camera, we’re just in love with. It’s an honor to work with them both.”
With production underway, Shapiro said it will be about a year until the film hits theaters.
“It takes about a year for post production – editing, music, special effects,” he said. “This is a very big VFX and CGI project, all of which will be done here in Bessemer. It’ll take about a year before it’s in theaters, but I think people are going to be blown away and will be excited to recognize a lot of the local locations.”
Logothetis said he looks forward to audiences being able to see the film.
“My goal as a filmmaker is always to make something that is entertaining and something that gives you a reason to get lost for about an hour and a half to just enjoy yourself and have some fun,” he said.
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