Thursday, May 26, 2022

Multiple film projects wrap, ‘The Black Phone’ release delayed, Southport declares ‘Mel Gibson Day’

Mayor Joseph P. Hatem hands Mel Gibson a key to the city on the set of his film “Boys of Summer.”

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — As the end of the year nears, the family adventure movie “Boys of Summer” and TV miniseries “George and Tammy” are keeping the reels rolling in the Cape Fear, while several other productions have wrapped in an otherwise busy year in local film.

The movie “One True Loves,” Fox’s show “Our Kind of People,” and Netflix series “Florida Man” and “Echoes” all finished filming in recent months, joining the list of 10 projects to start and complete in 2021. “Our Kind of People” has released nine episodes on Fox and resumes airing Jan. 11.

“Welcome to Flatch,” which shot in Wilmington under the name “This Country” in 2020, has been teasing its premiere on Fox, though an exact date is unknown. This U.S. remake of the BBC comedic series stars Chelsea Holmes, Sam Straley and Sean William Scott.

Half-hour episodes will follow a documentary crew who goes out to explore the lives of residents in small-town America. They end up in the midwestern town of Flatch surrounded by many eccentric personalities.

The show began filming in early 2020 and shut down for several months due to Covid-19 before resuming production in mid-November. It wrapped in early spring 2021.

‘The Black Phone’ delayed

Originally slated to hit the big screen early next year, “The Black Phone” release has been pushed back to summer.

The film is now premiering June 24, 2022.

Crews wrapped on the set of the Blumhouse horror film at EUE/Screen Gems Studios in March. Ethan Hawk stars in the film alongside Mason Thames, who is now back in town for “Boys of Summer.”

Directed by Scott Derrickson, the movie is about a 13-year-old boy who is abducted by a masked man and kept in a soundproof cellar. Through a disconnected phone on the wall, the boy discovers he can hear the voices of his kidnapper’s past victims helping him try to escape.

The plot is based on a short story in the collection “20th Century Ghosts” by Joe Hill, the son of Stephen King.

Southport declares Dec. 16 ‘Mel Gibson Day’

Southport’s mayor has proclaimed Dec. 16, 2021 as “Mel Gibson Day” in the small city.

Gibson has been spotted across the sleepy coastal town, dining at Castucci’s Italian Restaurant and working out at Cape Fear Fitness. Southport Mayor Joseph P. Hatem visited Gibson last week on the set of his film, “Boys of Summer,” which is currently shooting in the city, and presented him with a key to the city.

“Mr. Gibson, just to be in the same room with you is an extraordinary honor for me,” Hatem said in a video. “I’m very happy Hollywood has returned to North Carolina. We thank you for being an important part of that successful return. We have not seen this much excitement in Southport since the filming of ‘Safe Haven.’”

“Safe Haven,” based on the Nicholas Sparks’ novel, was filmed in Southport in 2012. Fans still visit the city today to tour the sites of the film, including Moore Street Market, Fishy Fishy Café and American Fish Company.

In “Boys of Summer,” Gibson plays a detective who embarks on a journey with a local child on a hunch that something supernatural is hunting the children of Martha’s Vineyard.

The film is directed by David Henrie (“Wizards of Waverly Place”) and comes from the writers of “The Peanuts Movie,” Cornelius Uliano and Bryan Schulz.

Gibson has faced backlash throughout the years for accusations of making racist, sexist, homophoic and anti-semitic comments. Perhaps most notoriously, in 2016 an arrest report for drunk driving in Malibu described Gibson making hateful comments about Jewish people. In 2010, tapes were released of Gibson using the N-word and telling his then-girlfriend (and mother of his child) it would be her fault if she was raped.

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Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands is a journalist covering New Hanover County and education. Before Port City Daily, she reported for the award-winning State Port Pilot in Southport. She graduated from UNC Charlotte and wrote for several Charlotte publications while there. When not writing, Williams is most likely in the gym, reading or spending time with her Golden Pyrenees. Reach her at or on Twitter @alexsands_

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