Sunday, July 14, 2024

Mel Gibson shooting fantasy thriller in Wilmington this winter, alongside ‘The Black Phone’ actor

Mel Gibson and Mason Thames star in “Boys of Summer,” filming in Wilmington this December. (Port City Daily/Williams)

WILMINGTON — A movie starring Mel Gibson will roll in Wilmington this winter, capping off a successful year of film locally with double-digit projects and more than $300 million spent.

“Boys of Summer” is described as an “indie fantasy adventure thriller,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. It is also listed on the Wilmington Regional Film Commission website as a project in pre-production.

Mason Thames will star alongside the mega-celebrity. Thames was recently in town for his role as the abducted child of a sadistic killer in “The Black Phone.” The horror flick premieres in theaters Jan. 28.

In “Boys of Summer,” Thames plays a local child whose best friend mysteriously vanishes. He starts to suspect something supernatural is hunting the kids of Martha’s Vineyard and employs the help of an aging detective, played by Gibson.

(Martha’s Vineyard is the same setting as “Our Kind of People,” which is also filming in Wilmington.)

Together, the young boy and older gentleman are taken on a path of a witch who recently retired on the island.

Directing the project is David Henrie, known for acting as Selena Gomez’s brother in Disney’s “Wizards of Waverly Place.” It comes from the writers of “The Peanuts Movie,” Cornelius Uliano and Bryan Schulz.

Setting up shop in December, the movie will top off the list of productions the Cape Fear region hosted in 2021, which includes: Fox’s new series “Our Kind of People;” Netflix’s upcoming series “Florida Man” and “Echoes;” the film “One True Loves,” based on a Taylor Jenkins Reid novel; Netflix’s film “Along For The Ride;” Lifetime film “Line Sisters;” Hallmark’s “One Summer” and “Christmas In Harmony;” indie film “Breakwater;” and Amazon’s series “The Summer I Turned Pretty.”

The peaking film work is expected to continue into the new year as demand for streaming content proceeds and Wilmington serves as a prime alternative as studio space fills up nationwide. Plus, the state has stabilized its film tax incentive and the City of Wilmington is putting seed money behind an effort to grow the workforce.

This year a record-breaking $300 to $350 million was spent locally by productions in Wilmington, more than the past four years combined. The financial impact is up from $70 million in 2020, $129 million in 2019 and $34 million in 2018.

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Alexandria Sands
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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