Our region has a long history with the film industry, so we were delighted but not at all surprised to learn that Netflix had chosen to shoot scenes for a new film in Somerset County and elsewhere in South West Pennsylvania.
As our David Hurst reported this week, scenes from “The Pale Blue Eye” will be filmed in areas of Somerset County and at the Compass Inn in Laughlintown, along Route 30 in Westmoreland County.
The image – with a possible release in late 2022 – is a mystery murder set in the 1800s and will feature actor Christian Bale as Detective Augustus Landor, who searches for clues to the Academy murders US military from West Point.
We expect “The Pale Blue Eye” to join “Slap Shot” and “All The Right Moves” – both shot in Johnstown – to give an immediate boost to the local economy and then provide a source of connection. civic and tourist marketing. in the years to come.
“It’s a really exciting project to come to our area,” Anna Weltz, GO Laurel Highlands PR manager, told Hurst. “It’s always wonderful to see the Laurel Highlands in the spotlight and we all look forward to the chance to see the final production on our Netflix screens at home.”
Weltz predicted that the cast and crew would spend hundreds of dollars every day at area restaurants, motels, and destinations. “They want to experience the local culture,” she said.
The rural landscape and the Compass Inn – which dates to 1799 – will provide a more realistic backdrop for the film than modern West Point, New York, publicist Peter Silbermann told The Tribune-Democrat.
“The director (Scott Cooper) and producer have scouted all over the Northeast and Canada – and even visited West Point,” he said.
“But over the years it’s become a bit too much of Silicon Valley for the period they’re trying to capture. Ultimately, that got them to the Pittsburgh area – and Christian (Bale), who is also the producer, knows the area.
This is Bale’s third film to be shot in western Pennsylvania, following “Out of the Furnace” and the popular Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises”.
Other cast members will include Gillian Anderson, Robert Duvall and Harry Melling (Dudley Dursley in the “Harry Potter” films) as young Edgar Allan Poe.
As our friends at the New Castle News reported, filming will also take place at two locations in Lawrence County – Westminster College in New Wilmington and McConnells Mill State Park near Highway 422.
Lawrence County Acting Administrator Joe Venasco said he was among local officials who met with representatives of the film project to plan filming there on December 13.
“It’s a really big deal,” Venasco told The New Castle News. “That’s what shocked me the most. You talk about hundreds of people involved in the production, the crew, the preparations, all of those things. We hope they stay in Lawrence County hotels, eat at local restaurants, and patronize local businesses.
This is an exciting development for the entire region, further strengthening our links with cinema.
We continue to celebrate the legacy of Paul Newman’s hockey comedy “Slap Shot” (1977) and the high school football drama Tom Cruise “All The Right Moves” (1983). Local grill teams played games in the colors of Ampipe’s Bulldogs and rival Walnut Heights, while the beloved Hanson Brothers of “Slap Shot” fame are part of Johnstown’s lore.
“People are passionate about this stuff,” Weltz said.
“They call it pop culture for a reason – because it’s popular.”
Denzel Washington’s thriller “Unstoppable” was filmed in Blair and Center counties, but we’ll take some credit for that as well.
The Pittburgh area movie list is long and includes “Flashdance”, “Gung Ho”, “The Deer Hunter” and the horror classics “Night of the Living Dead” and “The Silence of the Lambs”.
The next chapter is “The Pale Blue Eye” – which landed flyers about production in the mailboxes of Laughlintown resident Roger Campbell and his neighbors. Campbell told Hurst he recalled a historic documentary about the French and Indian war filmed locally decades ago.
This new movie “could have a good (impact) here,” Campbell said.
Yes, it sure could – now and in the future.