North Georgia popular with filmmakers

North Georgia is ready for its closeup. Actually, it's been ready.

A slew of filming projects past, present and future have chosen parts north of metro Atlanta as their shoot sites. The "Hunger Games" sequel "Catching Fire," which comes out later this year, filmed mostly in metro Atlanta, and we're told scouts for the next "Hunger Games" movie, "Mockingjay part 1," have been on the hunt in north Georgia for suitable locations. So if you head north, look out for Jennifer Lawrence and company.

The movie "Kill the Messenger," with Jeremy Renner and Rosemarie DeWitt, recently filmed a scene at Red Top Mountain in the Cartersville area. "The Red Road," a new Sundance Channel pilot, also has done some filming in that neck of the woods lately.

The 2012 Farrelly brothers comedy "The Three Stooges," starring Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos, Will Sasso in the key roles with Sofía Vergara as a saucy temptress and Jane Lynch, Kate Upton and Jennifer Hudson brilliantly cast as nuns, filmed some scenes at a bucolic estate in Cartersville.  

A new movie project, "Line of Sight," has nearby Emerson in its sights. Directed by Jonathan Demme ("Silence of the Lambs") the movie is set to star Sarah Clarke, LisaGay Hamilton, Omar Metwally, Kai Lennox and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson. The plot, per imdb: "a National Transportation Safety Board investigator survives a mysterious plane crash, bringing him on an emotionally disorienting quest to discover the accident's cause." That gets going later this fall.

Of course shooting in lovely north Georgia doesn't necessarily guarantee lovely results. Did you see "Wanderlust" with Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd? We didn't. Neither did anyone else, evidently.

"Fans wandered away — well, actually they ran away — from "Wanderlust" at the movie theaters this weekend," Radar online wrily noted when the movie opened to lackluster crowds last year. "The ... comedy was a major box office disaster."

In brighter news Aniston told GQ magazine that she enjoyed spending time in north Georgia.

“I have to say that I felt a real connection doing this movie because, in a kind of parallel universe, I was escaping,” Aniston told the magazine. “We shot in this little town called Clarkesville, Ga.”

Added Rudd: “It’s right where they shot ‘Deliverance,’ which the town is very proud of. The kid from that movie with the banjo now works at a local Walmart.”

Actually “Deliverance” was filmed in Tallulah Gorge, south of Clayton, which is where "Killing Season" with Robert De Niro and John Travolta did a good bit of work. That movie, which in a number of spots throughout the north Georgia mountains, was released earlier this year. It wasn't what you'd call a runaway smash hit, either.

"(T)he film is quite awful—badly written, ineptly staged, horribly acted, historically suspect and boring beyond belief," said critic Peter Sobczynski, writing at "Cheaply made, dramatically inept and staggeringly dull despite a running time that only clocks in at maybe 80 minutes tops before the end credits begin, it is so devoid of passion, energy and intelligence that it makes one wonder why those responsible even bothered to make it in the first place."

So, here's hoping future films shot in north Georgia are met with happier endings.

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