Unfinished Business: Made-here movies to open here next year



When will all of those movies made in Pittsburgh show up at a theater near me?

Even if you plan to see only movies made in Pittsburgh, you will have to buy at least five or six tickets this year.

First up: "My Bloody Valentine 3D." The remake of the 1981 film of the same name arrives in theaters Jan. 16.

It stars Jensen Ackles from TV's "Supernatural" as Tom Hanninger, an inexperienced coal miner who caused an accident in the tunnels that trapped and killed five men and sent the only survivor, Harry Warden, into a coma.

One year later, Warden wakes up and murders 22 people with a pickaxe before being killed. A decade later, Tom returns to the town of Harmony on Valentine's Day, still haunted by the cascade of calamities but facing yet another killer -- armed, you guessed it, with a pickaxe.

Expect lots of blades to appear to burst through the screen, courtesy of 3-D technology and special polarized glasses.

The movie shot at the Tour-Ed Mine and Museum in Tarentum, and residents and officials of Kittanning and Ford City are among the locals thanked in closing credits. The cast includes Pittsburgher Tom Atkins along with Jaime King, Kerr Smith, Kevin Tighe, Edi Gathegi, Betsy Rue and Megan Boone.

The comedy "Adventureland" will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this month and open in theaters March 27. The Greg Mottola comedy shot extensively at Kennywood in fall 2007 with Jesse Eisenberg, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Stewart, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader and Martin Starr.

"Sorority Row," which staged a graduation on the steps of Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall in October, is scheduled for an Oct. 2 release. It's an update of 1983's "The House on Sorority Row," filmed near Baltimore.

When five sorority girls inadvertently cause the death of one of their sisters in a prank gone wrong, they pledge to never speak of the matter again. But after graduation, a killer goes after the five and anyone who knows their secret. Its cast includes Carrie Fisher, Briana Evigan, Leah Pipes, Rumer Willis, Jamie Chung and Audrina Patridge.

"She's Out of My League" is slated for "the fourth quarter of 2009." Jay Baruchel plays an average Joe working as an airport security guard. He -- and his friends -- cannot believe his luck when a successful and beautiful woman falls for him.

And "The Road," once targeted for November 2008, has no new date. It is the most anticipated movie of the bunch, given its Cormac McCarthy source novel and star Viggo Mortensen, but it doesn't exactly scream summer movie. If it doesn't arrive in late spring, expect it in the fall.

Other Pittsburgh projects are still in the process of completion or looking for distribution.

Among them is the thriller "Shelter," starring Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, which wrapped production here in May. It's too early for a release date because producers are still talking to possible distributors.

KDKA Radio's Larry Richert, meanwhile, reports that "Shannon's Rainbow" is in the home stretch. He and John Mowod are co-producers and writers of the drama about a grieving teen who discovers both the mother she never knew and love for a hobbled horse, Rainbow. The ensemble includes Julianne Michelle, Claire Forlani, Louis Gossett Jr., Eric Roberts, Daryl Hannah, Jason Gedrick and Scott Eastwood.

"We are looking at distribution deals and that will dictate what the game plan is," Richert says. "The good news is, I think we have a nice little picture here," which shows off Western Pennsylvania to good effect. "We had an extraordinary run of weather in June, July and August."

And the granddaddy of them all, "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh," may or may not return after a lukewarm response to a one-time November showing.


Post-Gazette movie editor Barbara Vancheri can be reached at bvancheri@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1632. First Published January 7, 2009 5:00 AM


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