Back in the fall of 2011, it was Andy Garcia, Forrest Whitaker and Eva Longoria capturing headlines when they were in the city filming scenes for the upcoming thriller The Truth.
This month, it is teen-heartthrob-turned-director Jason Priestley and Oscar-winner Richard Dreyfuss generating all the buzz.
Priestley has been spotted in several locations over the summer as he prepared to film his directorial debut, a comedy entitled “Cas and Dylan”. Dreyfuss has been cast to co-star in the movie, which is being filmed in Sudbury and Calgary, Alta.
He will star alongside Tatiana Maslany of “Being Erica” fame, an actress who was named one of four top rising stars at the Toronto International Film Festival this year.
The film tells the tale of a 61-year-old doctor who, dying and looking to end his life on his own terms, somehow ends up on the run with a young woman played by Maslany.
The comedy films here until mid-September before production shifts out west. It is slated for a 2013 release.
Dreyfuss, who won an Oscar for his 1977 film “The Goodbye Girl”, will play Dr. Cas Pepper in the film. The indie film was scripted by Jessie Gabe.
Maslany is no slouch in the acting department either. She was the 2010 Sundance Special Jury prize winner for Grown Up Movie Star, and is also starring in Picture Day which premiers this year at the Toronto International Film Festival, according to a news release from Pacific Northwest Pictures.
“The addition of Richard Dreyfuss to this project has elevated it to the next level,” Priestley said in the same release. “He and Tatiana have wonderful chemistry together and I’m excited to go to camera.”
The production has created work both directly and indirectly for local people. One of those is Sudbury’s own Peter Mihaichuk, otherwise known as northern Ontario’s “Lord of Gore”. Mihaichuk, who recently returned to Sudbury after 14 years in the Toronto area, is handling production design for the film.
This past week, filming was ongoing at Collège Boréal, which created some excitement on the campus, and prompted one person to send Northern Life images of Priestley and Dreyfuss on set, which in turn generated a lively debate on Facebook about Sudbury’s film industry, movies and the various classic films in which Dreyfuss has starred.
The film has also indirectly created some work for ANCMission Studios, the professional recording studio at All Nations Church. While in the city, both Maslany and Dreyfuss will be using the studio to record overdubs and two, 15-minute narrations for an upcoming documentary film, unrelated to the Priestley production.
Cas and Dylan is funded by Telefilm, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, Alberta Media Development Fund and The Harold Greenberg Fund, is a Montefiore Films production and is produced by Mark Montefiore (“Picnicface”, “Eating Buccaneers”) with Emily Alden of Pacific Northwest Pictures and Breakthrough Entertainment serving as executive producers.