Sticky -- St. Louis Movie/Cinema/TV/Production News

A catch-all forum for urban discussion. If it doesn't fit elsewhere, post here.
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Whether or not it's in production, or cancelled, I don't know, but DreamWorks did buy the script. What I hate, however, is that studios have often changed scripts that had settings in St Louis, to other cities. The film with Angelina Jolie, as a News Reporter, was actually written to be St Louis, if you didn't already know.

Storm Brewing at DreamWorks

Studio picks up military pitch from Brian Koppelman and David Levien.

By Claire Runitz

The Storm Returns, a pitch by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, has been picked up by DreamWorks in a deal worth nearly $1 million against nearly $2 million. Koppelman and Levien are to write, direct and produce.

In the wake of renewed interest in military films, Storm is set in St. Louis in the wake of the Gulf War. It follows a group of recently discharged soldiers who have become warriors without a war and enlist in a battle to clear a vicious drug gang out of a housing project.

Koppelman and Levien, represented by Endeavor and attorney Karl Austen, are best known for writing the feature Rounders. Their first directing and producing effort will be seen in Knockaround Guys, a New Line Cinema feature scheduled for a fall release. It stars John Malkovich, Dennis Hopper, Vin Diesel, Barry Pepper, Seth Green and Andrew Davoli.

The duo also recently sold the spec script First Family to Warner Bros.-based Bel-Air Entertainment. In addition, they rewrote Universal Pictures' Heart of a Soldier and New Regency's Runaway Jury.

Claire Runitz is a regular contributor to, a leading source of film industry news and information, and sister company to Hollywood's Master Storytellers and Project Tracker. To search our extensive archives, please click here.


The reason they change settings from St. Louis to other cities is because they say "no one would believe it happened there". I think these guys are the ones that buy, read and believe all those "best cities to live in, have fun in, get robbed in, get sick in, die in, etc.etc.etc. books, articles and stories.

Back in the late 50's or early 60's there was a movie called "The Hoodlum Priest" about a priest who helped gang members and juvenile deliquents out of lives of crime, etc. It was a true story about a local priest and was filmed in St. Louis. Haven't seen it since that time. (I was too young to judge it's worth as a good or bad film, don't remember who played in it, either). Ever hear of it?

I don't remember the "the Hoodlum Priest" & would love to, but the funny thing is, I was just trying to remember the name of the movie with two nuns that lived in a poor neigbhorhood in the 1960s - not set in St. Louis.

Anyway, I hate it when they change setting from St. Louis. It happens too often. If I had a nickel for everytime I had to tell Washingtonians that The Excorcists was not about a girl in Georgetown, but about a boy from St. Louis, I would be a wealthy man. And they usually don't believe me. They look at me like I am crazy.

Have you ever noticed that in older movies, it was common to mention St. Louis. I am talking 1940s and early 50s. Usually it would be in reference to some relative in St. Louis or something like that. Also, when they are showing the rise of a star, they moved up the line through places like Scranton & Paducah before hitting the big time via St. Louis & Philadelphia and then on to New York. St. Louis was certainly part of the move up in those days.

Sorry! I think I got way off topic -

If the movie is about "a battle to clear a vicious drug gang out of a housing project," then I don't know if it's such a bad thing if the setting is changed from St. Louis. Of course, if they keep the setting as St. Louis, but don't film here, that's still bad, as hurting our image, yet not even supporting our economy to make the film.

I'll always think of "Escape from New York" and "Parenthood" as two great examples of films that used St. Louis for actual footage or as their storyline setting, but not both. The former used what is now our loft district and Union Station as scenes of a futuristic Manhattan turned prison island. The latter used only our region as a setting for suburban couples raising kids. That movie starts with a Cardinals game, but not even that scene was filmed in St. Louis. IOW, it's sad to know St. Louis has filled in as the backdrop for urban action films, yet a storyline setting for Anyplace, USA.

Considering that this new movie, "The Storm Returns," appears by its plot to resemble "Escape from New York," I'm not sure if we wish to serve as its footage, and especially not as its storyline setting.

"White Palace" was probably the best movie to capture St. Louis in setting and footage, but it of course had its characters from Dogtown and Clayton fleeing St. Louis' slow paced, classist way of life.

I guess it makes sense to have the movie set in St. Louis - we certainly had our share of problems (gangs, murders, etc.) around the time of the gulf war.

If they do decide to shoot in STL, I will gladly offer my extra bedroom up to Ms. Jolie.

Expat, have you ever seen "A Patch Of Blue" with Sidney Poiter...about the blind girl? When it came out (circa 1964), I swore that movie was filmed on North Grand and Natural Bridge and around Fairgrounds Park (although it wasn't). That was EXACTLY what that area looked like at that time, and every time I see it makes me nostalgic for those days. If you've never seen it, watch for it, and see what North Grand/Natural Bridge was like in that era. Pretty good movie, as well. The two-nun movie you mention I am not familiar with. As for the mentioning of St. Louis in movies, you're right on target. But in "A Chorus Line" the character of one of the dancers auditioning was from St. Louis. Someone once told me many times persons involved in a movie or play have their hometowns used when the mentioning of cities and towns are used, if not specificly identified by the playwrite or writer, and this was the case in "A Chorus Line"

Now, back to the topic...St. Louis has it's problems just like any other big city, but you make some very good points, southslider.

I vaguely remember A Patch of Blue. I will look for it now. Curious to see the North Grand/Natural Bridge lookalike.

Edit: I just googled A Patch of Blue and I certainly do remember that movie. Shelley Winters was in it, too. Isn't she a St. Louis girl? I will put it on my Netflix list. Can't wait to see it again. Those movies were the best.

Couple fo others St. Louis film references:

In Vacation the Griswolds get lost in the St. Louis 'Hood and miscellaneous damage is done to the family truckster. People alway say that the scene was set in East St. Louis, but in the movie the scene happens right after they come over the Poplar Street Bridge into St. Louis.

Anybody see Trespass in the early 90's with Bill Paxton, Ice-T and Ice Cube. It was filmed right across the river in a huge abandoned factory that you can still see from the interstate as you come into town. It was a decent action flick about three firefighters who find a treasure map in a fire, that leads them to East St. Louis, and they get caught in the middle of a gang fight and their own greed. It was originally called Looters but after the LA riots they changed the movie's name.

Well lets throw another onto the list:

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles also has some St. Louis shots and refrences. Candy's character picking up Steven Martin at Lambert, after turudging back from the car rental spot. And Candy and Martin having lunch at some dinner downtown after getting their trip on a bus from where their train broke down into St. Louis. (though this sceen was not filmed in St. Louis, the sceen was suposed to be downtown).

JMedwick wrote:
Well lets throw another onto the list:

Here are some other threads that mention many, many movies about St. Louis, filmed in St. Louis, etc...

I mentioned in a previous thread a Chinese movie was filmed in STL. The english name is called "The Treatment" it came out in 2001.

Here is my post from that other STL movie thread back in April. :)

10-intuition wrote:
There was a Chinese movie that was shot in St. Louis back in 2000 called Gua Sha (The Treatment). Some places were scenes were shot were Olive St. in U City (Central Trading market, I was an extra in this scene), Delmar Loop, and the Old Courthouse. I had an opportunity to read the scripts and meet the director while at a Chinese cultural event. :)

Unfortunately, I haven't seen the whole movie and it wasn't released in the US, unless it was in limited markets. :(


About the movie:

Datong (Tony Leung) is a patrician of a St. Louis Chinese-American family and a designer of violent video games. When Datong's father (Zhu Xu) visits from China, he performs some traditional Chinese medicine (the "Gha Sha" treatment) on his young grandson. Though painless, the treatment leaves bright red marks on the skin, which are interpreted by the kid's teacher as welts. Soon the Child Welfare Agency is accusing the family of child abuse and transfers the kid to a foster home...

Hong Kong indie film icon Tony Leung starred in this Chinese production and won the "Best Actor" in Chinese Movie Grand Award. This film was screened at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.

oh my god, my uncle was in that movie! He was the American lawyer, if any of you have seen it. They had a showing at the Hi-Pointe when it came out.

Much of it was filmed here but he got to go to China. And while he's a "nobody" here, the people of china know his face like he's Will Ferrell or something. It's bizarre.

Note to Expat: Yes, Shelly Winters is from St. Louis, as are Betty Grable, Kevin Kline...I think the list was posted on another thread in urbanstl... maybe someone can help me out here...

Oh, and I forgot....thanks to all others for your input, you've jogged my memory!

Marmar wrote:
Note to Expat: Yes, Shelly Winters is from St. Louis, as are Betty Grable, Kevin Kline...I think the list was posted on another thread in urbanstl... maybe someone can help me out here...

To see what stars are from St. Louis, check out this website:

Thank you, Expat.

We've talked about this before, but St. Louis and Missouri both do a very poor job of luring movie projects here. There are areas of St. Louis that could pass for some bigger cities, so those larger films could be filmed here if we would make the effort to bring them here.

Missouri could use the film industry as advertising for the state, but they haven't looked at it that way. Why do you think California and LA have such a growing population? It's advertised to people daily in film and television!

WHere can you rent THE TREATMENT?

Xing wrote:
Why do you think California and LA have such a growing population? It's advertised to people daily in film and television!

I think the weather, the ocean and the fact that it's now the largest city in the country may have something to do with people moving to LA.

This gang movie will have it's location changed. I will put money down that they change it to my hometown, Detroit. No city gets worse press.

LA isn?t close to being the largest city in the country, ever here of New York?

Citylover wrote:
LA isn?t close to being the largest city in the country, ever here of New York?

LA city/county surpassed NYC a couple of years ago. It's considered the largest metropolitan area now.

No it didn't . LA has like 15 million in the metro, and NYC has 20. The city, and the metro area are both smaller than New York City. You may be confusing Chicago with NYC. LA passed Chicago recently, in 1990. ... /tab03.pdf

I thought I read lately that for the first time, LA area had more people move out than move in.