By Brice Wallace
A pair of film productions — including one that will spend nearly $7 million in Utah — have received incentives to shoot in the Beehive State.
The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) board, at its April meeting, approved a tax credit incentive of up to $1.38 million for Lola’s Boys Inc. to shoot “Good Joe Bell” and a cash rebate of up to $28,400 for Heart Can’t Beat LLC for “My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To.”
“Good Joe Bell” will star Mark Wahlberg (“Boogie Nights,” “Planet of the Apes,” “The Italian Job”), Connie Britton (“Spin City” “Friday Night Lights,” “The Last Winter”) and Red Miller. The feature drama will tell the true story of Joe Bell, who, in the wake of his 15-year-old son’s suicide, walks across the U.S. to promote awareness about the consequences of prejudice.
The production company is expected to spend $6.9 million while in Utah, with principal photography taking place in Tooele, Salt Lake and Summit counties through May 24. It will have a cast of 45, plus a crew of 106 and 860 extras.
The director is Reinaldo Marcus Green (“Monsters and Men”). Producers are Daniela Taplin Lundberg and Riva Marker. The film is written by Academy Award winners Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry, both of “Brokeback Mountain.” Producers are Wahlberg, Daniela Taplin Lundberg (“Honey Boy,” “The Kids Are All Right”) of Stay Gold, Riva Marker and Jake Gyllenhaal of Nine Stories (“Stronger,” “Wildlife”), Eva Maria Daniels of Vision Chaos, Cary Fukunaga of Parliament Of Owls (“Beasts of No Nation”), Ryan Ahrens of Argent Pictures (“Hacksaw Ridge”) and Stephen Levinson.
“My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To” is a horror feature expected to spend $142,000 in Utah, including during principal photography set for April 25-May 23 in Salt Lake, Wasatch, Summit, Weber and Davis counties. It will involve 24 cast members, 18 crew and 30 extras. Because of its smaller scale, its incentive is a cash rebate from the Community Film Incentive Program.
The film will tell the story of a family of reclusive siblings who will do anything to keep their sickly younger brother alive, which is what happens when that brother is a vampire. The director is Jonathan Cuartas. The cast includes Salt Lake City native Patrick Fugit (“First Man,” “Almost Famous”).
“Showing filmmakers what Utah has to offer and producing a film in my home state has been extremely exciting,” said producer Kenny Riches. “We have hardworking, passionate crew here that have embraced our project and have eagerly shown their support. We’re very much looking forward to capturing the character of our unique state.”