Pine Mountain Gold Museum will be closed on Nov. 2 as filmmakers take over the park to shoot a major movie.
Additionally, several trails at the park will be closed Oct. 31 through Nov. 3 as film crews prepare the site for filming, according to Wesley Berninger, museum director.
The film is an adaptation of “Uglies,” a popular series of young adult novels by Scott Westerfeld. It describes a dystopian future society in which physical beauty is prized and requires 16-year-olds to undergo plastic surgery to conform to those ideals. These “Pretties,” then embark on a new life in an Eden-like sanctuary.
However, the protagonist, Tally Youngblood — played by Joey King, who also is a producer of the film — rebels against the surgery and joins other runaway “Uglies” in the Smoke, a wilderness in which they have taken refuge.
The film is being produced by Netflix and will stream over that platform. According to IMDB.com, the film is to be directed by McG, director of “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,” “Terminator Salvation,” and “The Babysitter: Killer Queen.”
In addition to King, the film will star Brianne Tju (“I Know What You Did Last Summer ) and Chase Stokes (“Outer Banks” and “Stranger Things.”)
The area of the Pine Mountain Gold Museum will apparently be a stand-in for the Smoke, due to the rustic character of the terrain and the remains of the gold mining station that was once at the park.
Railroad tracks will temporarily be laid down over one of the main paths, Berninger said.
This is not the first time the park has been used as a movie set. In 2013, Robert De Niro and John Travolta filmed scenes at the park for “Killing Season.”
In 2017, a portion of downtown Villa Rica was shut down to film a scene for “Hap & Leonard,” a highly rated show broadcast on Sundance TV and starring Louis Gossett, Jr. (“An Officer and a Gentleman.”)
Film crews are making the trek to the west Georgia more and more frequently, to take advantage of a tax break offered by the state and because the area is conveniently located to the Atlanta-metro area.
Douglas County in particular has hosted numerous film projects, including the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things.” The county has introduced a film trail that encourages tourists to visit places where their favorite movies and TV series have been filmed.
Berninger said that Villa Rica has been reaching out to various production companies in an effort to interest location scouts in Pine Mountain and other sites. He said that HBO had recently showed a serious interest in the Park before ultimately making another choice.
Not only do film productions bring prestige to film locales, they also bring revenue. Film crews pay for the use of some facilities and for some site improvements, not to mention fees and licenses charged. Even after the movie is finished, film buffs — such as those who follow the Douglas County Film Trail — bring tourism dollars into the area.
Berninger said that parts of the trail system at the park will be closed to visitors from Oct. 31 through Nov. 1 so that film crews could prepare for the main filming, which is scheduled to take place Nov. 2.
That’s when more than a hundred members of the film crew, including actors, will be at the heavily guarded site.