Redford To Return To Savannah

Movie director Robert Redford will return to Savannah, ten-years after choosing the coastal city for the golfing film “The Legend of Baggar Vance.” The City of Savannah announced Friday that Redford’s new movie, a Civil War feature called “The Conspirator,” will be shot in the Savannah area. Filming is scheduled to begin in mid-October and will continue through November.  

“We are very excited about the positive impact this project will have on our community,” Savannah Tourism and Film Director Jay Self said. “The economic impact of production will be in the millions. The wide exposure such projects bring can pay dividends for years.”

Set against the ominous backdrop of post-Civil War Washington, “The Conspirator” follows the extraordinary trial of Mary Surratt, the lone woman among those charged with conspiring to kill Abraham Lincoln. Idealistic young war hero Frederick Aiken reluctantly defends Surratt, eventually coming to believe in her innocence while struggling to find justice in a city bent on retribution.

The film’s producer, American Film Company, has opened a production office and a sound studio in Savannah and is asking interested job-seekers to send their resumes. It’s not immediately known how many jobs will be created by the film or what its economic impact will be on Savannah.

“The Conspirator” will be the second major motion picture to film in Savannah since Georgia lawmakers boosted tax incentives to lure movie makers. The first was “The Last Song” starring Miley Cyrus, which wrapped its shooting several weeks ago.

Heigl headed back to town to shoot ‘Life’ with Duhamel

Atlanta, get set for more Katherine Heigl sightings. The film and TV actress has already spent a big chunk of time here this year, shooting the upcoming comic thriller “Five Killers” with Ashton Kutcher.   Now that the “Grey’s Anatomy” actress has been granted a five-episode leave from the hit ABC drama,  Buzz can confirm that Heigl is headed back to town this fall to shoot the romantic comedy “Life As We Know It” for Warner Brothers.   The film is set to be directed by Greg Berlanti, a TV producer and series creator best known for his work on “Everwood,” “Eli Stone,” and “Brothers & Sisters.”   Judging from the film’s plot, Berlanti’s expertise in combining comedy with pathos will come in handy. The challenging central story of “Life”: A single guy and girl are thrust together when they’re named guardians of  their best friends’ daughter after the parents die in a car crash.   The male half of the equation? “Transformers” star Josh Duhamel, who’s already been spotted at the brand-new swanky St. Regis hotel in Buckhead. According to Variety, “Mad Men” actress Christina Hendricks (who plays slinky Sterling Cooper office manager Joan Holloway on the Emmy-addicted AMC series) has also  been signed to co-star in the film.   We’re also hearing that The Mansion in Buckhead could be a locale for star sightings this fall and that scenes for the film could be shot at Turner Field. The film is slated to shoot into November. Warner Brothers is planning a December 2010 theatrical release.