Preproduction began this week in Bartlesville for the film adaptation of Tracy Letts' “August: Osage County,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a dysfunctional Pawhuska family.
Starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts and directed by John Wells (“ER,” “The Company Men”), “August: Osage County” will begin shooting on Sept. 24, according to representatives from the Oklahoma Film and Music Office and The Weinstein Co.
“We are obviously ecstatic to have a production of this stature filming in our state,” said Jill Simpson, director of the Oklahoma Film and Music Office. “They don't come any better than this script, stellar cast, director and stable of producers. Securing ‘August: Osage County' was a team effort spanning a couple of years. We are especially grateful for the efforts made by our industry partners at the Bartlesville Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce.”
Deby Snodgrass, executive director of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, said the state's film industry has experienced documented growth due to the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program, which translates into a positive economic impact.
“Total jobs created just by films in the enhancement program more than tripled from fiscal year 2010 to 2012, and the economic impact of production statewide in FY11 topped $36 million,” Snodgrass said. “A project with the stature of ‘August: Osage County' is a positive for our state, its film industry and the economies of many communities.”
“August: Osage County” began its initial run at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre before moving to Broadway, where it garnered five Tony Awards.
The film version will co-star Abigail Breslin, Chris Cooper and Juliette Lewis.