A tale of two movies that seem naturals for Alaska

November 14, 2010 

Among the many film and television productions eyeing Alaska are two movies with well-known directors:

“The Grey”

Director: Joe Carnahan (“The A-Team,” “Smokin’ Aces”)

Writers: Ian Jeffers (“Death Sentence”), Joe Carnahan

Cast: Liam Neeson (“The A-Team,” “Schindler’s List”)

Plot: “In Alaska, an oil drilling team struggle to survive after a plane crash strands them in the wild. Hunting the humans are a pack of wolves who see them as intruders.”

— IMDb.com

Will it film here? “We haven’t definitely been told one way or another what their plans are,” said Deputy Commerce Commissioner Curtis Thayer, who met with one of the producers and Gov. Sean Parnell in October.

The filmmakers have expressed concerns about the lack of winter sunlight, the lack of an Alaska soundstage and possible conflicts with Neeson’s schedule, he said. A production office for the movie was operating this month in Vancouver.

Untitled Alaska Adventure Project a.k.a “Kings of the Trail”

Director: Gavin Hood (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” “Tsotsi”)

Writers: Sean O’Keefe, Will Staples

Cast: No casting has been announced.

Plot: “Based on the true story that inspired the Iditarod race today, a legendary dog sledder and his unlikely but heroic team of huskies capture the attention of the entire nation when they battle the wilderness to save an isolated Alaskan town from a devastating epidemic. Based on “The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic.”

— Walden Media spokeswoman Brooke Wilcher

Will it film here?

“We’d love to make it up there; we’re just a little bit away from being able to pull the trigger on that,” said Tom Williams, a producer for Gran Via, a production company for the film. Filmmakers have scouted Alaska locations and liked what they saw, he said.

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