St. Charles Herald-Guide

Hollywood comes to town

By Jonathan Menard - May 27, 2009

Bayou Gauche will make an appearance in upcoming Hollywood blockbuster “Jonah Hex,” which stars Josh Brolin, John Malkovich and Megan Fox and is scheduled for release next year.

The movie will cover the exploits of Jonah Hex (Brolin), a Western comic book anti-hero from DC Comics who was introduced to audiences in the early 1970s. Hex, who was an officer for the Confederacy during the Civil War, is portrayed as a disfigured bounty hunter. According to the Internet Movie Database, the film will follow Hex as he tracks a voodoo practitioner (Malkovich) bent on liberating the South by raising an army of the undead.

Production workers spent about three weeks building a unique boat in the waters off Bayou Gauche, and filming took place from May 11 to May 15.

“This does benefit St. Charles Parish,” Corey Faucheux, the parish’s economic development director, said. “We’re seeking to capture as many production dollars as possible and when those production crews shoot here, they spend money on things such as renting property and equipment, catering and purchasing gas for their vehicles.” 

Faucheux also cited a recent analysis of Louisiana’s motion picture industry that revealed that local municipalities collect approximately one-third of the total taxes paid by productions, with the state accounting for the remaining two-thirds.

Though the parish does want to recruit as many production crews as possible, Faucheux said they will only do so when it won’t disrupt the normal flow of business or affect the daily lives of residents.

“There have been occasions where studios wanted to shoot here, but it would have caused such a disruption that the negatives outweighed the positives,” he said. “We perform our own due diligence when evaluating which projects to support.”

In the case of  “Jonah Hex,” Faucheux said the film crew would not get in the way of residents, and both the construction of the boat and the shooting of the movie were allowed.

“I’m anxious to see what they’ve done and how they’re going to incorporate the Bayou Gauche setting into the storyline,” Faucheux said.

Along with shooting scenes for the film in St. Charles Parish, a Western film set was constructed in New Orleans’ City Park.

Hollywood comes to town