HomeCultureSummer Movie Preview 2015

Summer Movie Preview 2015

Awards season might be over, but that just means it’s time for summer blockbusters with big budgets, big names and Southern filming locations. 

Our annual summer movie roundup features films either shot in Hollywood South or set in the region. And because the South has become such a hotbed for movie activity, there are some big pictures and big stars in the following films (did someone say Magic Mike 2?), along with a few indie picks, thrillers and books to film. We’re most excited about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return in zombie flick “Maggie,” seeing LSU on screen again in “Pitch Perfect 2” and Gillian Flynn’s “Dark Places” coming to life with Charlize Theron, but that’s just us. Dive in to the trailers below and tell us what films you’re most looking forward to.


Directed by Patrik-Ian Polk
Starring Mo’nique, Isaiah Washington and Julian Walker
Out now

A young singer taking care of his emotionally disturbed mother struggles with his sexuality and the treatment of others while coming of age in a small Southern Baptist community.


The Longest Ride
Directed by George Tillman Jr.
Starring Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson and Alan Alda
Out now

After an automobile crash, the lives of a young couple intertwine with a much older man, as he reflects back on a past love in the film version of Nicholas Sparks’ novel. Filming locations take viewers from the mountains to the coast of North Carolina in Asheville, Winston-Salem and Wilmington. See the state’s “Longest Ride” tour itinerary here.


Hot Pursuit
Directed by Anne Fletcher
Starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara
In theaters May 8

An uptight and by-the-book cop (Witherspoon) tries to protect the sexy and outgoing widow (Vergara) of a drug boss as they race through Texas, pursued by crooked cops and murderous gunmen, in this comedy filmed in New Orleans.


Directed by Henry Hobson
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin and Joely Richardson
In theaters & on demand May 8

A teenage girl in the Midwest (Louisiana stands in) becomes infected by an outbreak of a disease that slowly turns the infected into cannibalistic zombies. During her transformation, her loving father stays by her side.


Pitch Perfect 2
Directed by Elizabeth Banks
Starring Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow and Rebel Wilson
In theaters May 15

The Barden Bellas are back in this sequel, as Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge once again stands in for Barden. This time, the Bellas are performing for the president on his birthday. A commando situation leads to their suspension, but the Bellas are determined to win the World Championships and prove their worth. Will their pitch be perfect enough?


Jurassic World
Directed by Colin Trevorrow
Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Judy Greer
In theaters June 12

Steven Spielberg returns to executive produce the long-awaited next installment of his groundbreaking Jurassic Park series. Twenty-two years later, the park (filmed at the abandoned Six Flags New Orleans site) is now a fully functioning dinosaur attraction, but after years of visitor rates declining, a new attraction is created to re-spark interest. Of course, it backfires horribly.


Magic Mike XXL
Directed by Gregory Jacobs
Starring Channing Tatum, Amber Heard and Elizabeth Banks
In theaters July 1

The story of male stripper Magic Mike continues, albeit without Matthew McConaughey, but Channing Tatum reprises his role and that’s really all you need to know. Keep an eye out for beach shots of Tybee and Jekyll Island, plus Myrtle Beach and Savannah.


Directed by Tarsem Singh
Starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley
In theaters July 10

Shot in New Orleans, this sci-fi thriller is about an extremely wealthy man, dying from cancer, who undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man. All is not as it seems when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body’s origin and the organization that will kill to protect its cause.


Directed by Peyton Reed
Starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily and Michael Douglas
In theaters July 17

Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Rudd) must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world. In addition to playing Ant-Man (a founding member of The Avengers), Rudd also gets writing credits on this Marvel flick partly filmed in Georgia.


Paper Towns
Directed by Jake Schreier
Starring Cara Delevingne, Nat Wolff and Halston Sage
In theaters July 24

A coming-of-age story centering on Quentin and his enigmatic neighbor Margo, who loved mysteries so much she became one. After taking him on an all-night adventure through their hometown, Margo suddenly disappears — leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher. Based on John Green’s bestselling novel, film locations include North Carolina and Florida.


The Gift
Directed by Joel Edgerton
Starring Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Joel Edgerton
In theaters July 31

Simon and Robyn are a young married couple whose life is going just as planned until a chance encounter with an acquaintance from Simon’s high school. Simon doesn’t recognize Gordo at first, but after a series of mysterious gifts and uninvited visits, a horrifying secret from his past is uncovered. As Robyn learns the truth about what happened between her husband and Gordo, she starts to question how well we really know the people closest to us.


Dark Places 
Directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Starring Charlize Theron and Chloe Grace Moretz
In theaters August 7

Gillian’s Flynn’s predecessor to Gone Girl is about a woman who survived the brutal killing of her family as a child and is now forced to confront the events of that day by a secret society obsessed with solving notorious crimes. Flynn has writing credits, and filming was done in Shreveport, Louisiana.


Fantastic Four
Directed by Josh Trank
Starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Tim Blake Nelson
In theaters August 7

A contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe (around Baton Rouge, Louisiana), which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.


Directed by Jared Hess
Starring Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Jason Sudeikis
In theaters August 7

David Ghantt (Galifianakis) drives an armored vehicle, transporting millions of other people’s money with no escape in sight. That is until his work crush (Wiig) lures him into the scheme of a lifetime. Based on real events, David organizes one of the biggest bank heists in American history set against the backdrop of North Carolina.



Art and Craft
Directed by Jennifer Grausman
Starring Mark Landis

Set in Laurel, Mississippi, this documentary follows eccentric Mark Landis, one of the most prolific art forgers in U.S. history. His impressive body of work spans 30 years and includes Picasso and Walt Disney. But Landis isn’t in it for the money. Posing as a philanthropic donor, a grieving family member and a Jesuit priest, he has given away hundreds of works to art museums around the country. Matthew Leininger, a tenacious registrar who discovers the ruse and sets out to expose Landis, ultimately causes him to confront his own legacy and a chorus of museum professionals clamoring for him to stop.

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