Disney hiring in Moab for sci-fi movie
The apparent space-like qualities of the topography near Moab, Utah, are about to pay dividends for area movie buffs and the Moab economy.
Beginning in April, Disney Studios will film the science-fiction fantasy movie “A Princess of Mars” in the rocky terrain in the Moab area. Preliminary work already is under way in London.
Disney crew members scouted the world for a location resembling the reddish planet Mars. Film crews have been in Moab for more than a year, said Tara Penner, director of the Moab to Monument Valley Movie Commission.
“Disney has been planning this for quite a while,” Penner said.
Penner predicted the Disney cast and crew could pump nearly $60 million into the Moab-area economy during filming, which likely will take several months.
In addition to filming the movie in eastern Utah, Disney plans to hire nearly 400 people to help with the movie in areas such as construction, security, and production and location assistance.
Preference in hiring will be given to Utah residents, but residents from Western Colorado could be considered for jobs, Penner said.
Construction workers are needed now. Hiring for the other positions likely will begin next month, Penner said.
Although locals with film experience will be considered first, people without film experience may be considered, particularly for entry-level jobs.
For more details about the kind of jobs needed for the movie production, go to http://www.moabcity.org/filmcommission/production_directory.html.
Filming of “A Princess of Mars” could last into the summer, depending on weather, Penner said, meaning people who plan to recreate near Moab in the months ahead, especially during the long Memorial Day weekend, should expect access to certain areas to be affected and possibly restricted because of filming.
Penner plans to release information in the weeks ahead about public-land usage concerns because of the filming of “A Princess of Mars,” which will be a digital animation/live-action film technologically comparable to “Avatar.”
“A Princess of Mars” is scheduled for a 2012 release and is based on author Edgar Rice Burroughs’ first novel in his Barsoom Series. It will star Taylor Kitsch as John Carter, Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris and Willem Dafoe as Tars Tarkas.
Academy award-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton, director of the popular Pixar movies “Finding Nemo” and “Wall-E,” has signed on to direct “A Princess of Mars.”
The Disney movie will be the first film shot in the Moab area since 2007, Penner said.
Other popular movies filmed in the Moab area include “Thelma and Louise,” starring Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, as well as multiple John Wayne films.