Louisiana a prime site for blockbuster movie filming

Written by Kaci Yoder

The spotlight is on south Louisiana. Baton Rouge may not be Los Angeles or New York City, but it’s far from a sleepy suburb. Between sci-fi epics and show-stopping musical numbers, the booming local film industry has earned Baton Rouge and surrounding areas the nickname “Hollywood of the South.” This semester has seen the release of some major blockbusters filmed in the University’s backyard, and there are more to come.


Released Sept. 28
Critics raved about this sci-fi action flick, which brought stars Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt to New Orleans. One iconic scene from the movie also features an abandoned diner located in cane fields near Napoleonville.

“Pitch Perfect”
Released Oct. 4
The smash-hit a capella comedy took over LSU’s campus to shoot most of its scenes last year, enrolling University students as extras and giving many buildings on campus the Hollywood makeover. With a People’s Choice Award nomination and a domestic gross of more than $62 million according to BoxOffice.com, rumors of a sequel could mean a return to Baton Rouge.

“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2”
Released Nov. 16
The last two installments of the popular saga were filmed back-to-back in Baton Rouge, with the city’s Celtic Media Centre providing a location for most of the film’s indoor and green screen scenes. Cast members stayed in The Terraces at Perkins Rowe during filming.

“Django Unchained”
To be released Dec. 25
Samuel L. Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx and company traveled to New Orleans to film Quentin Tarantino’s latest blockbuster, a story of a slave-turned-bounty hunter on a mission to save his wife from a plantation owner. Many scenes were shot at Second Line Stages in the lower Garden District, while others took place outside of the city at Evergreen Plantation in Edgard, La.

“The Host”
To be released March 29, 2013
Like “Breaking Dawn,” this Stephenie Meyer-helmed sci-fi thriller shot some of its scenes at the Celtic Media Centre in Baton Rouge. As listed on IMDb, the estimated $44 million project also filmed in New Orleans and on the Bonnet Carré Spillway.

To be released April 19, 2013
Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman caused a stir in Baton Rouge when they came to South Louisiana to shoot this effects-heavy, high-budget alien movie. Because most of the movie is set in space, the Celtic Media Centre once again fit the bill, and the “Oblivion” team even tapped local businesses to help with special effects.

“Now You See Me”
To be released June 7, 2013
The upcoming star-studded heist movie filmed several scenes on the streets of New Orleans, from Canal and Rampart to Race and St. Peters, according to onlocationvacations.com. One clip in the recently released trailer shows some high-speed stunts on the Crescent City Connection, which was shut down multiple times for shooting. Stars like Jesse Eisenberg stayed in the Warehouse District during production.