To become a Hollywood Midwest, Michigan needs to convince filmmakers to work here — and then give them a positive experience so they’ll want to return.
That’s the case with producer Michael Mendelsohn of Patriot Pictures, who’s planning to film a second movie here, a taut drama that’s set to star Samuel L. Jackson.
The untitled project is based on “Rape: A Love Story,” a 2003 novella by Joyce Carol Oates. According to Patriot Pictures, it will explore how a brutal attack on a woman affects many people and sets a police officer on his own course of justice.
Mendelsohn says Jackson is slated to play the cop, while Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”) will costar as the daughter of the assault victim. Harold Becker, whose credits include sophisticated thrillers like “Sea of Love” and “Malice,” is supposed to direct.
The film, which has an estimated $25-million budget, is in preproduction. Shooting is expected to begin in Michigan in July.
Last year, Mendelsohn was one of several filmmakers drawn here by the state’s tax incentives. He produced “All’s Faire in Love,” which stars Christina Ricci and Cedric the Entertainer, which is in postproduction.
Mendelsohn is preparing to screen “All’s Faire in Love” next month at the Cannes film market, which coincides with the famous French festival.
What will his message to Cannes about Michigan be? “It’s a great place to work and I’m looking forward to going back there,” he says.