LUMPKIN, Ga. — Shooting for an upcoming film starring Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep will use historic Westville as a backdrop, but off-screen drama may make the movie Westville’s closing credit.
“The Homesman,” is having a casting call on Saturday in Columbus for extras for the film. The Internet Movie Database says the plot revolves around a claim-jumper and a pioneer woman who team up to escort three insane women through the midwest.
Jones is directing the film which will star Streep, John Lithgow and Hillary Swank.
WHERE: Columbus Marriot, 800 Front Avenue, Columbus, GA.
WHEN: April 27, from noon to 5 p.m.
WHO: Reenactor men or women with 1850's period clothing or reenactor children between the ages of 5-13 and Stewart County residents to play pioneer men and women.
But reports of challenges facing Westville are leading the leaders of the non-profit board that runs the living history museum to consider options for sustaining the historic town. Just last week, Westville officials held an informational meeting in Lumpkin to go over the issues the site is having.
Executive Director Leo Goodsell said that playing host to a major motion picture company is good for business at Westville.
“Westville is a great location for this particular film because of our period buildings and roads,” Goodsell said. “They needed an 1850s-era town and we’re glad they made the decision to shoot here.”
While Goodsell wouldn’t discuss options being considered by the board, he said having the film shoot in town is a welcomed piece of positive news.
Shooting will span May 20-24 and, for some of the days the park will remain open to the public, offering Southwest Georgia a rare glimpse of movie-making at work.
“We’re going to keep our normal operating times so the public will get a chance to stand on the sidelines and watch the film being made,” Goodsell said. “We’ll block off the streets and other areas where they are shooting, but the site itself will stay open.”
Westville has served as the backdrop for other movies and shows. According to IMDB, “The Longriders,” a 1980 film about Jesse James starring David and Keith Carradine and Stacy Keach was shot in Westville and the campy horror film 2001 “Maniacs,” starring Robert Englund, was shot there in 2007.