The Touchstone (aka Disney) film Deja Vu started shooting on location in New Orleans this week after delays caused by, well, a gigantic hurricane ripping apart and flooding most of the area. The Jerry Bruckheimer-produced film will not steer clear of the city's worst hurricane-ravaged sections. Instead, filmmakers reworked the storyline to set events in post-Katrina New Orleans, including the remnants of the lower Ninth Ward. During a press conference in New Orleans last Thursday, director Tony Scott said he felt the city was "a third character" in the movie. (Does that mean it will be paid as highly as its co-stars, Denzel Washington and Val Kilmer?)

Cinematical received a press release (reprinted in The Hollywood News) that stressed how proud the studio is to be part of the first narrative feature shot in New Orleans after the hurricane. The release claims that after the hurricane, "The filmmakers scouted many other U.S. locations ... but none compared with what New Orleans had to offer visually and logistically as a film location." In fact, the press release and Thursday's conference hint strongly that the film production is part of the recovery effort—which isn't untrue, considering how much the city needs the money and employment that the shoot will generate.

So the marketing strategy for Deja Vu is already focusing not on the star power or the storyline, but on its being the first feature film to shoot in post-Katrina New Orleans, even though filming is barely underway. Are they relying on audiences seeing the film to support the city and reward the goodwill of a studio that helped out, or on the trainwreck mentality of audiences who want a big-screen look at some of the saddest parts of New Orleans? Or maybe it's simply a case of squeezing publicity out of any possible angle.
categories Movies, Cinematical