Update: Sam Mendes Comedy Tucson Shoot Details


UPDATE: Focus Features tells us that the film is still untitled and is being referred to as “Untitled Comedy Directed by Sam Mendes.” The contemporary comedy follows the journey of an expectant couple (John Krasinski [“The Office”] and Maya Rudolph [“Saturday Night Live”]), as they travel the U.S. in search of a place to put down roots and raise a family.

The JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tuscon, Arizona (official website) sent us the following press release which sheds more light on Sam Mendes’ upcoming comedy, going by the title The Farlanders:

Lights, camera, action! Academy Award-winning film director Sam Mendes is bringing his newest film project to JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson. The cast and production crew of the comedy “The Farlanders” is set to shoot at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa this June.

The JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa was chosen from among several locations throughout the country and is the only Tucson locale selected for Mendes’ newest motion picture.

“This has been a great 12 months for the resort,” explained Matt Brody, Starr Pass’ Director of Marketing. In January, Starr Pass was the only resort in Southern Arizona to be named to Travel + Leisure’s 2008 World’s Best Hotels List and also earned Condé Nast’s prestigious Top 100 Golf Resorts designation.

“I’m not surprised that both Mr. Mendes and the film’s scouting director, Jean Chien, fell in love with the resort. We are delighted to bring Hollywood back to Tucson and are looking forward to playing host to such a talented director and cast. The property will make the perfect backdrop for a movie that is sure to be a blockbuster hit.”

Production, which began the week of April 20, will film throughout Connecticut followed by additional location work in Arizona, Colorado and Florida. Arizona filming begins June 1.

The film follows the journey of an expectant couple as they travel across the United States in search of a place to settle and raise a family. The delightful exploits include a visit to the wife’s sister, who just happens to be a hotel executive at a resort.

John Krasinski (The Office) and Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live) will play the lead roles. Rounding out the rest of the cast is an array of award-winning actors and actresses including Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Dark Knight), Cheryl Hines (Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm), Jeff Daniels (Terms of Endearment & Dumb and Dumber), Carmen Ejogo (Lackawanna Blues), Jim Gaffigan (My Boys), Allison Janney (American Beauty), Melanie Lynskey (Two and a Half Men), Chris Messina (Made of Honor), Kevin J. O’Connor (There Will Be Blood), Catherine O’Hara (Home Alone & Beetlejuice) and Paul Schneider (Lars and the Real Girl).

While at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa, filming will focus on four areas of the resort: the resort’s front drive, Starr Circle; a resort boardroom, which will be transformed into an office; Salud’s patio; and the main lobby. Salud is Starr Pass’ outdoor bar and terrace, which features a ceremonial tequila toast every evening at 5:30 p.m.

Since 1925, hundreds of movies and movie scenes have been filmed in and around Tucson. The film industry has relied on the desert Southwest to provide stunning vistas and charming locales to feature films of every genre.

The film’s original screenplay is written by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. Big Beach Films is producing and co-financing the film, with Focus Features co-financing and distributing worldwide. Sam Mendes won an Academy Award in 1999 as Best Director for his work on American Beauty.