Hollywood East booming with business


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Hollywood East is booming. The Port City is the backdrop for three movies right now. Marvel masterpiece ‘Iron Man 3,’ made-for-TV movie ‘Somebody’s Child,’ and Nicholas Sparks’ book-turned-movie ‘Safe Haven’ have all set up shop.

“It’s something that I think people are interested in,” author Nicholas Sparks. “There’s a big love for Hollywood in this world.”

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The writer of romance calls New Bern home, and many of his books and movies are set right here in southeastern North Carolina. ‘Ssafe Haven’ stars Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough. Filming is scheduled for Southport, where the movie is set, as well as several locations in the Port City over the next several weeks.

Local production company Swirl Films is making ‘Somebody’s Child.’ It’s a movie for the Gospel Music Channel about a family that gives an ex-convict a second chance at life.

“A lot of the roles that I’ve played are cops, tough guys and roles like that,” said Byron Minns who plays Benjamin Sparks, the ex-con. “But this was the first role that I really had an opportunity to show a variety of sides. It’s a very complex character.”

The highly-anticipated ‘Iron Man 3’ starring Robert Downey Jr. and Gwenyth Paltrow continues to film in Wilmington. The National Gypsum plant off River Road is one of the filming locations. Along with other items, the set contains a large green screen, multiple cranes, lights and even a blacked out Audi.

Love, forgiveness and action are all taking place in the Port City.

‘Somebody’s Child’ airs on the Gospel Music Channel in August. ‘Safe Haven’ debuts in February, and ‘Iron Man 3’ is set to come out next summer.