Filming of movie directed by Tate Taylor begins today in area

Published 12:32 am Monday, February 5, 2018


NATCHEZ — Filming begins today in Natchez and the surrounding area on director Tate Taylor’s latest movie starring Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis and Luke Evans.

Variety magazine reported Thursday that Taylor will reunite with Spencer on the film, which is being described as a combination horror film and psychological thriller.

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The film titled “Ma” is being produced by Taylor’s partner, John Norris and Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions, the production company that also produced “Insidious” and “Get Out.”

Taylor and Norris own the house Wyolah in the Church Hill community, north of Natchez. Taylor told Variety that much of the filming will take place on his 100-acre property.

This year, Spencer was nominated for her third supporting actress Academy Award for her role in the movie, “The Shape of Water.” She was nominated for an Oscar last year for her role in the movie, “Hidden Figures.”

Spencer won an Academy Award for her supporting actress role in “The Help,” a film also directed by Taylor. Spencer also worked with Taylor in the movie “Get On Up,” which was filmed in Natchez.

Lewis was also nominated for an Academy Award  for “Cape Fear.” Her credits also include “Natural Born Killers” and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.”

Evans was last seen in theaters playing the role of Gaston in Disney’s live action adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast.” He is currently starring in the TNT series “The Alienist.”

Taylor said the movie will be more than a standard horror film.

“More than being scary, it is going to make people think,” Taylor told Variety. “It’s going to have meaning and purpose. At the same time, there will be all the tropes of a horror movie, where you scream and cover your eyes.”

Details of the movie have been closely guarded., a website that covers the movie industry, reports that Spencer will play “a lonely woman who befriends  a group of teenagers with tortuous consequences for the kids.”

Casting director Matthew Morgan recently put out a casting call for teenagers and young adults to play the role of high school students, as well as adults to play teachers, casino employees and other roles.

Morgan said the film will include scenes at a high school and a casino. Morgan also said he was not permitted to release any other details about the movie.

Filming is expected to last through March 8.

Efforts to reach Norris and Taylor for this story were unsuccessful.