“Quarry,” a pilot for a proposed Cinemax drama series, is set to begin 13 days of shooting in Memphis and North Mississippi on July 22.
The producers are seeking local extras and crew members, so the project could mean employment for dozens of Mid-Southerners.
The talent connected to “Quarry” suggests the pilot is Cinemax’s attempt to launch a series as prestigious as those found on its sister network, HBO, such as “Game of Thrones” and “Boardwalk Empire.”
With production offices based in Horn Lake rather than in more convenient Memphis, because of Mississippi’s more generous filmmaking incentives, “Quarry” is being directed by Australia’s John Hillcoat, who also is executive producer. Hillcoat’s typically grim, violent and elegiac movies include the “The Proposition” (2005), an Aussie Western with Guy Pearce; the post-apocalyptic “The Road” (2009), based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy; and the all-star “Lawless” (2012), about Depression-era Virginia bootleggers.
“Quarry” is inspired by a series of 10 novels begun in 1976 by crime specialist Max Allan Collins, who followed Chester Gould as the writer of the Dick Tracy comic strip and Mickey Spillane as the author of new “Mike Hammer” books, working from Spillane’s unfinished manuscripts. Collins also wrote the graphic novel “The Road to Perdition,” which became a 2002 movie with Tom Hanks.
The “Quarry” pilot will retain the 1970s setting of the early novels about a war-damaged Vietnam veteran who becomes a professional assassin after returning to America. The pilot presents Quarry as a Marine sniper (played by Logan Marshall-Green) recruited by a crime network that operates along the Mississippi River. The impressive supporting cast will include Stellan Skarsgaard, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Noah Taylor (a veteran of “Game of Thrones” as well as “The Proposition”) and Skipp Sudduth (a regular on “The Good Wife”). The cinematographer is Spain’s Javier Aguirresarobe, whose credits include “The Road,” two “Twilight” sequels and Woody Allen’s upcoming “Blue Jasmine.”
If the pilot is impressive enough to convince Cinemax to greenlight a full series, subsequent episodes likely will be based in the Mid-South, too.
The producers are seeking experienced local crew as well as extras of “all ages, types, ethnicities” to work on the pilot, especially “older men and women, Caucasian and African-American, ages 40 to 80,” according to the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, which is working in conjunction with the Mississippi Film Office in recruiting workers and finding locations.
For information on how to apply for these jobs, visit the Film Commission website at filmmemphis.org.