“Men of Granite” rumors are false; filming is scheduled to start next month

By Kelsey Leyva - kleyva@civitasmedia.com

Rumors that the “Men of Granite” film will not be filmed are unfounded, producers say.

Superintendent Dennis Mock was informed through email by the film’s former location manager Nick Deroo that the plug had been pulled on the movie.

Deroo said he stepped down as the film’s location manager almost a month ago because of a prior commitment to another project. Around the time he left, a hold was put on the film.

He said he wasn’t exactly sure why, but thought it may have been a casting or scheduling issue.

Producer Valerie McCaffrey said there was a “little snag” but wouldn’t go into detail about the nature of the problem.

“We’re trying to resolve it and that’s what it looks like we’re moving toward,” she said. “In any sort of organization sometimes there’s little things that come up that you have to resolve.”

The plan as of now is to begin filming Oct. 18.

McCaffrey said the crew is still working out the filming schedule but will definitely be in Wellington before the old McCormick Middle School is torn down.

“Our main priority is Wellington,” she said.

“Men of Granite” is a 1940s period piece that tells the story of a a group of first-generation American boys who grew up playing basketball together in Granite City, Ill. They were discriminated against and received no play time on their high school team.

The boys defy the odds put against them and go on to help the team win the 1940 basketball state championship.

Shirley MacLaine was announced to play Sophia Prather, the teacher who brought the boys together. The role of the high school basketball coach Byron Bozarth was initially given to William Hurt but he backed out to accept a TV series.

The intended message of the film is that we all come from somewhere.

Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.

By Kelsey Leyva