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Producers hope movie filmed in Natchez will be released soon

NATCHEZ — Producers of the movie “Breaking News in Yuba County” that filmed in Natchez last year said they recently sold the film to MGM for distribution and are hoping for a theatrical release in late fall or early spring.

“We really wanted to have the option of having it theatrical,” said John Norris, a producer on the film that was directed by his partner Tate Taylor and stars Allison Janney, Mila Kunis and Juliette Lewis, among others. “So of the potential buyers like Netflix and Hulu and some of the other players Paramount and Universal, we chose MGM, because not only did they bid really competitively on the movie but they also gave us a theatrical component.”

Norris said they are in the process of determining the best way to release the movie.

“We are figuring that out now based on what we think the COVID experience will be,” Norris said.

The film wrapped last year and the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the editing process, Norris said.

“We wrapped that movie and ultimately we wound up the final stages of mixing that movie remotely because of COVID, which was very challenging,” Norris said. “Then, of course, we go out into the marketplace.”

Norris’ comments came in a Wednesday Natchez Rotary Club meeting via the internet on Zoom.

Norris and Taylor have produced, and Taylor has directed, such films as “The Help,” “Get on Up” and “Ma” all filmed in Natchez and Mississippi locations.

Norris said he is hopeful the COVID-19 pandemic will ease up later in the year and he would really like to see “Breaking News in Yuba County” have a theatrical release.

“I and a couple of my buddies drove to Baton Rouge to go see ‘Tenet,’ Christopher Nolan’s movie, in Imax, because I just love the theater experience and we wanted to have that component,” Norris said. “I’m hoping November or December it will turn into an experience that we’ve got a vaccine, people are getting healthy, people are getting into the marketplace, people are going to the theater and we will be able to have a genuine theatrical release.”

If that’s not possible Norris said there is another side of the equation.

“If it is a little tougher to get out to the theater then you will probably see us on Netflix,” Norris said. “We sold the movie to MGM, they are our distributor and now we are working on what the best way to release that movie is going to be. We are thinking of a late fall release or possibly the spring, depending on COVID.”