Summers' Hottest Film Sets: Our Top 10 Flix in Production

By , Contributor

Penelope Cruz and Woody Allen are making sweet Movie Magic in Rome this summer

So what’s shooting this summer, you ask? And where can I find some Movie Magic dust? Here are ten pics you may want to keep an eye out for on set or in the theater!

Note: these flicks can take up to a year before they are released, so this is a super insider’s glance at what you may want to watch next year.

Shooting in Los Angeles

He Loves Me: This flick is from the hilarity behind Little Miss Sunshine, directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. Paul Dano stars as a writer’s-blocked novelist who deals with heartache by creating a dream girl who comes to life. Oh, if only we could all cure writer’s block that way.


Cast: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Annette Bening, Deborah Ann Woll, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan, Elliott Gould, Chris Messina, Aasif Mandvi, Toni Trucks, Alia Shawkat. Screenplay by Zoe Kazan (start July 13).

Austenland: Keri Russell stars as a woman obsessed with the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice who travels to a Jane Austen theme park in search of a perfect gentleman. Director Jerusha Hess (Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre) takes on this romantic comedy, which is based on a novel by the same name scribed by Shannon Hale. Well, that’s one dating strategy I haven’t considered!


Cast: Keri Russell, J.J. Feild, Brent Mckenzie, Gina Mingacci, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Seymour, Rupert Vansittart, James Callis. Screenplay by Jerusha Hess (start July 15).

Struck by Lightning: Written by Glee’s Chris Colfer, this comedy takes on the subject of a post-lightning blackmail confession. Okay, I’ll admit, I don’t entirely understand the synopsis, but it stars some of our fave peeps including "Caution Curves Ahead" icon Christina Hendricks and the true love of my life, Dermot Mulroney. Chris-Colfer-On-the-Struck-By-Lightning-set-July-27-2011-cory-monteith-and-chris-colfer-24262197-1203-1455.jpg

Cast: Chris Colfer, Allison Janney, Christina Hendricks, Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Hyland, Rebel Wilson. Screenplay by Chris Colfer (start July 15).

Shooting in Michigan (like LA during the summer, but different)

Oz: the Great and Powerful: A prequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, this Sam Raimi directed pic tells the story about how The Wiz became the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Abigail Spencer, and Zach Braff; it’s clear that Oz was a really beautiful place even before everyone put on their emerald colored glasses.

OZ James_Franco_300px .jpg

Cast: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, Abigail Spencer. Screenplay by David Lindsay-Abaire (start July 25).

AWOL: This Vietnam era love story stars some seriously hot Hollywood babes - AND explains why Miley and Liam were getting their lake on last week. Directed by Danny Mooney, this pic tells the story of a heartbroken soldier and his best buddy who go AWOL to win back the girl of his dreams. Love seems to be a common theme in the pics shooting this year — have we finally returned to a world where romance, love, hope, faith exist?! Goodness, I hope so.

AWOL Liam-Hemsworth-Austin-Stowell-are-AWOL-liam-hemsworth-24098764-817-1222.jpg

Cast: Liam Hemsworth, Austin Stowell, Teresa Palmer, Aimee Teegarden, Chris Lowell, Max Adler, Wyatt Russell. Screenplay by Jim Burnstein (start July 11).

Shooting in Europe (like LA never)

The Bop Decameron: (Rome, Italy) Admittedly I’ve only recently become a Woody Allen fan. I may just be growing up, but if you haven’t seen Midnight in Paris, you absolutely must. Allen’s newest flick has a cast worthy of toasting with a massive bottle of chianti. Based on a medieval allegorical work called The Decameron, which told the bawdy tales of the times, The Bop Decameron is a series of four vignettes set in Rome. The nerd in me can’t wait!


Cast: Penelope Cruz, Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Roberto Benigni, Maricel Alvarez, Riccardo Scamarcio, Sergio Rubini, Greta Gerwig, Alison Pill. Screenplay by Woody Allen (start July 11).

Hyde Park on the Hudson: (UK) This period drama directed by Roger Michell tells the story of the love affair between FDR (Bill Murray) and his distant cousin Margaret Stuckley over a weekend in 1939 when the British King and Queen visited New York.


Cast: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams, Samuel West, Olivia Colman, Elizabeth Marvel, Elizabeth Wilson, Eleanor Bron. Screenplay by Richard Nelson (start July 26).

Shooting Elsewhere (because the world is bigger than just Michigan, LA, and Europe - or so I’ve heard)

The Place Beyond the Pines: (New York) This action/drama adventure directed by Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) tells the tale of a motorcycle stunt rider, Luke, played by Ryan Gosling, who contemplates committing crime to provide for his family. More importantly, my other true love Bradley Cooper, co-stars with Ryan.


Cast: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Greta Gerwig, Ben Mendelsohn, Ray Liotta, Dane DeHaan, Emory Cohen. Screenplay by Derek Cianfrance & Ben Coccio (start July 25).

Elysium: (Vancouver, Canada) This super secret movie written and directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9) seems to be about the future where things might be grim and Jodie Foster is the head of state of an alien planet. Matt Damon is in it too, so let’s assume there’s some fighting, blow-up action, and maybe an awkward alien love scene? Stay tuned.

matt damon in elysium.jpg

Cast: Sharlto Copley, Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner, Alice Braga, Diego Luna. Screenplay by Neill Blomkamp (start July 25).

What to Expect When You’re Expecting: (Georgia) We all know this one is about pregnant women and is going to be very funny. There’s also a lot of hot chicks including Brooklyn Decker who totally rocks this fuzzy pink robe. Oh yeah, and lastly JLo and Rodrigo are steaming up Peachtree Lane.


Cast: Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Isla Fisher, Ed Helms, Chris Rock, Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Rodrigo Santoro, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Rob Huebel, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid, Thomas Lennon, Amir Talai. Screenplay by Shauna Cross (start July 28).

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Summers McKay is a surprisingly young Hollywood veteran with a career that started like most future industry moguls careers do - as an intern at Entertainment Tonight. She spent over ten years on the Paramount Studios lot before moving into the world of production in 2006. McKay has produced short films,…

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