Kurt Russell and two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank will star in a big-budget, fact-based adventure movie that will be shot near Morley in January.
Race to Save Nome will tell the true story of the efforts to save a small Alaskan town from a diphtheria epidemic in 1925. The plot involves the treacherous journey made by a man and his dog to deliver serum to the town.
It’s not clear what roles Swank or Russell will play, but the cast will also include Sam Elliott and John Goodman.
It will be directed by Texas actor Brian Presley, who will also star in the lead role.
The production will involve the building of a town near Morley, a native settlement 45 kilometres west of Calgary in the Stoney Indian Reserve, and will employ a large local crew, said Damian Petti, president of Local 212 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts. The shoot is expected to stretch into April.
“It’s a rather large build, we’re looking at 150 carpenters to start on Tuesday,” said Petti. “It’s really good for us to have some larger-budget projects this time of year. We’ve got some world-class people here. We’ve lost a lot of them over the years and some of them are starting to return to the jurisdiction so that’s a good sign. This particular project will be challenging because of the winter and the size of the build. It’s larger than we normally get and it will employ quite a number of people in the winter months.”