The decision by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to sign controversial voting laws into effect in his state has created quite a backlash among productions that normally would take advantage of the state’s tax incentives and vast amount of talented crew.
The latest production to be pulled out of the state is Will Smith and Director Antoine Fuqua‘s film Emancipation, a slavery-era drama being produced and financed by Apple Studios, the duo announced on Monday (via The New York Times).
It’s the first major production to cite Kemp’s voting law as a reason to leave a state that has become one of the country’s most lucrative locations for film and television production from Tyler Perry Studios where the media mogul shoots all his shows to the former Pinewood Studio in Atlanta, which has become a major hub for Marvel Studios television and film. The film was going to start production over the summer with Smith to play Peter, a real-life enslaved man who emancipated himself from a Southern plantation to join the Union Army.
Perry, along with Stacey Abrams and other Georgia politicians, including many Democrats, have urged Hollywood not to change their Atlanta filming plans or outright boycott the state over the voting laws due to the damage it would do to the economy and all of the crew and crafts people who rely on the abundant work for them available in the state.
This is breaking news, and Below the Line will report further if any new information arises.