Tom Hanks’ World War II naval drama to film in Baton Rouge

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A World War II naval drama starring Tom Hanks will film in Baton Rouge in early 2018.

According to a release by Louisiana Economic Development, about 250 people will be employed to work on the motion picture. Pre-production began Monday, and filming aboard the USS Kidd and at other Baton Rouge locations is expected to start in March.

Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law last summer several enhancements to Louisiana’s film incentive program, including a provision that provides a 5 percent tax credit on Louisiana expenditures for motion pictures filmed outside of the New Orleans area.

Greyhound, a production of FilmNation Entertainment, is the first significant film project to apply for that new incentive. The film has a total budget of $50.3 million and an estimated Louisiana spend of $29.5 million, including $7.6 million in payroll for Louisiana residents.

“Louisiana has been a leader in entertainment industry development for more than 15 years, and major motion picture projects such as this one help to sustain the creative industry in our state,” Gov. Edwards said. “We are glad to see FilmNation take advantage of our new initiative to promote film production in all regions of Louisiana. We also welcome Tom Hanks back to Louisiana for this project. Tom has been a great champion of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans since its opening 17 years ago, and the Beyond All Boundaries attraction, which he produced and narrates, is a signature experience of that world-class facility.”

Hanks will star as the troubled commander of a Navy destroyer, the USS Greyhound, soon after the United States entered World War II. The story takes place as the Greyhound is escorting a military convoy across the Atlantic Ocean in 1942, when the shipping lanes between America and its European allies were imperiled by German submarines. Hanks adapted the script from the novel “The Good Shepherd,” published in 1955 by C.S. Forester.

Other cast members have not yet been announced. The film will be directed by Academy Award-winner Aaron Schneider and produced by Gary Goetzman, Hanks’ partner in the Playtone production company. 

“We are excited to welcome the Greyhound production to our city. With millions to be spent in our state for this Celtic Studios-based production, local crew and vendors will benefit from having this production filming here in our capital city,” Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said. “We look forward to having our beloved USS Kidd on the big screen in this homage to a very important time in our American history. This production is the start of what we anticipate to be a very busy year for filming in Baton Rouge, thanks to the new state incentive, our own local rebate and experienced film community. Baton Rouge is film-friendly and film-ready and the word is spreading, as the Baton Rouge Film Commission has seen a steady increase of inquiries since July.”

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