Hollywood producer Dean Devlin rents an apartment in the Pearl District. After several seasons with “Leverage,” he now films “The Librarians” here. And, he would
work in Portland more, if it made business sense.
“I’d build a studio up there if I could,” he says, via a telephone call from Los Angeles. Limitations on tax credit incentives prevent more Hollywood action in Oregon, as has been well-documented, and it’s why British Columbia gets many more films and TV shows. Devlin has long been a proponent of raising the incentives, because, as he says, the state can’t support much more than “The Librarians,” “Grimm” and “Portlandia.”
The latest film financially supported by Devlin’s Electric Entertainment, “Blackway,” starring Anthony Hopkins and many others, went north of the border for filming.
“The last two films I’ve done I could have easily done in Portland,” he adds. “I would love to bring a $150 million movie up there and two or three TV series.”
But, it doesn’t stop Devlin from loving Portland and Oregon.
“It’s unique in that there are so many artists, and I don’t mean just actors and camera people,” he says. “People who paint the set and make costumes and props for walls and desks. So many talented artists in the state; usually if you shoot from outside of L.A. you have to bring them in.”
Filming in Portland for “Leverage” and now “The Librarians” provides much to work with, he adds. “The great thing about Oregon is there are so many architectual styles, and everything natural — desert, forest, beaches. I’d do everything in Oregon. I love it there. The people are warm and welcoming and intelligent. So many amazing artists in Oregon.”
Devlin certainly has become a fixture in the Portland TV scene, with the series “Leverage,” a Turner Broadcasting original that aired for 77 episodes. It anchored programming nights for TNT for several seasons.
“The Librarians,” spun off of the film series, follows four individuals who solve mysteries, recover artifacts and fight against supernatural threats and villains. Turner recently renewed “The Librarians” for a third season, for which the crew has been shooting in the Portland area. It stars Rebecca Romijn, Christian Kane, Lindy Booth, Noah Wyle and others.
“I can’t tell you how much fun it is to do ‘The Librarians.’ It’s literally the most fun I’ve ever had,” Devlin says.
“We did the first movie, ‘The Librarian,” in 2004. … We made three movies for TV, and they were all highly rated. A couple years ago TNT asked me to turn it into a series.”
He’s directed and written for the series, while being executive producer.
Devlin’s company supports “Blackway,” selling it internationally and now domestically. It’ll screen at Living Rooms Theaters on June 10.
The movie is set in the Northwest and is a suspenseful thriller set in a logging town and stars Anthony Hopkins, Julia Stiles, Ray Liotta, Alexander Ludwig and Hal Holbrook. Liotta plays a former cop who becomes a crime lord. That’s quite a cast.
“I couldn’t believe they got them all together,” Devlin says. Fellow actors really wanted to work with Anthony Hopkins, he adds.
Meanwhile, the heat is on to meet the scheduled June 24 release date for “Independence Day: Resurgence,” a sequel to the highly successful movie from 20 years ago, which Devlin wrote and produced.
“We are racing to get 3-D conversions and digital effects done in time. People are working around the clock, not sleeping or eating,” Devlin says.
It was tough to envision a sequel in which humans killed the aliens and saved the world. But, Devlin and Roland Emmerich, who co-wrote and directed the original, finally decided to give it a go.
“I was skeptical,” Devlin says. “(Emmerich and I) wrote for the first time in 11 years, and it’s like no time had passed. We brought it to the studio and they green-lighted it immediately.”
The story: It really is 20 years later, and a parallel history of the world has happened. Aliens knocked down the World Trade Center towers in 1996 (not Al-Qaeda in 2001) and Apple doesn’t exist because humans adapted to alien technology.
Will Smith isn’t involved in the film, but the likes of Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch and Brent Spiner return, and new stars include Liam Hemsworth.
“I got to bring a lot of stuff in from the first movie,” Devlin says.
Original article can be found HERE