A feature film reunion of the creative team behind “Bridesmaids” will no longer shoot in Georgia, following the signing of anti-abortion legislation in the Hollywood-centric state.
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo’s new comedy, “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” has pulled out of the state in light of its so-called “heartbeat bill,” a rep for Wiig told Variety. Wiig is a co-writer and star alongside Oscar nominee Mumolo in the movie, to be produced by Gloria Sanchez Productions and distributed by Lionsgate. A spokesperson for Lionsgate had no immediate comment.
The bill seeks to ban abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, and has become a lightning rod for protest and outcry since Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed it in early May. The state’s generous 30% tax rebate for film and TV production has made it an optimal location for shoots, contributing an estimated 92,000 jobs and a thriving community of artisans and craftspeople.
Wiig and Mumolo are not the first to flat out boycott filming in the state. Indie producers Christine Vachon and Mark Duplass made wide calls to the Hollywood community to abandon planned shoots in a stand for female reproductive rights. Actors like Jason Bateman (“Ozark”) pledged to leave the state if the bill become law, which is expected to move to a higher court and scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1.
Other producers have pledged their salaries or donations to charities like the Georgia chapter of the ACLU, in efforts to fight against the legislation while they remain in Georgia. That includes J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele (HBO’s “Lovecraft Country”), Peter Chernin (the “Fear Street” series) and Imagine Entertainment (“Hillbilly Elegy”).
“Barb and Star” is a buddy comedy about two best friends from the Midwest, who embark on their first ever vacation to Vista Del Mar, Fla. While away, they “soon find themselves tangled up in adventure, love and a villain’s evil plot to kill everyone in town,” according to an official synopsis. The movie will be directed by frequent sitcom helmer Josh Greenbaum (“Fresh Off the Boat,” “New Girl”).
Time magazine first reported the news.