Bruce Willis Heads to Cleveland
February 9, 2015 by Mike McNamara
Some serious starpower is heading to Ohio this month... The Greater Cleveland Film Commission just announced that principal photography for the film WAKE will begin on February 16th. The film stars Golden Globe© winner Bruce Willis (RED, Die Hard, Moonlighting) and Oscar© winner Ben Kingsley (Sexy Beast, Gandhi), with additional cast to be announced shortly. It will be directed by John Pogue (U.S Marshals, Ghost Writer) and produced by Michael Benaroya (Lawless), Tobin Armbrust (Rush), David Alpert (The Walking Dead) and Chris Cowles (Autobahn). Frank Hildebrand (Into the Wild) is executive producing.
In WAKE, Red (Bruce Willis) is a hardened sociopath with a dark past. After years spent away, Red returns home to his remote family-run island inn to bury his brother Sean. A changed man, he is confronted by a family unable to forget his troubled youth and forgive. But when the inn is attacked by a team of mercenaries intent on gaining something hidden within, the brutal person within that Red has worked so hard to eradicate must use his ruthless skills to defend himself- and maybe even do some good for others while he's at it. One of several heavily armed attackers, Kole, will stop at nothing to achieve his own means to an end, but as the body count racks up, Red's psychopathic disregard for his own safety makes planning any attack more difficult than anticipated.
Executive Producer Hildebrand stated, "The thought of shooting a sizeable action film in the middle of winter in Cleveland, Ohio, was not the most appealing thought when we first considered our location options. That was until we came to meet with the local people, crew, and vendors and explored the infrastructure."
"It is hard today in the U.S. to find a more enthusiastic and supportive environment to make a film, from locations to the general support we received in the city and from Greater Cleveland Film Commission from the first day. We are looking forward to making this film here, and even though we experienced -25°F wind chill (quite a shock to the system for weather-spoiled Californians!) the other day, we feel the warmth and welcome from everybody in the city."
Director Pogue commented, "I was surprised by the visual depth in the Cleveland area, and the rich variety of locations. But the greatest resource here is the people. They are creative, generous, and hard-working; they love stories and how movies can relate these stories to our lives in a meaningful way. Though our film takes place on a dangerous primal island on the east coast, we were able to find everything we needed here in Cleveland to satisfy our film's visual appetite. Cleveland, who knew? Thanks!"
Ivan Schwarz, President of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission said, "We are continuing with our mission to build a year round industry in Cleveland and Northeast, Ohio. So far we have created 1,100 full time equivalent jobs, have had an economic impact of $300 million and a return on investment of $1.84. I would like to welcome cast and crew of WAKE to our city."
Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, www.midwestfilm.org. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at www.findmac.com.