Production on the upcoming Andrea Riseborough film Geechee was abruptly shut down this past week after one member of the crew was shot multiple times and many others were reportedly held at gunpoint by Dominican Republic police. The scary incident is being fully investigated, but right now, it is being looked at as a case of mistaken identity. The crew member who was shot has been released from the hospital, but most involved have reportedly left the island.
According to Deadline, members of the production crew were out scouting locations near Lantica Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios on Wednesday night. There is currently a curfew in place in the country to help with the fight against Covid-19. Members of the island’s drug enforcement police reportedly spotted the crew, but the sequence of events after that is a bit unclear. At some point, police allegedly fired their weapons into the vehicle convoy. There was then some kind of car chase back to the Lantica Studios that ended in a number of additional crew members being held at gunpoint.
The traumatic situation was eventually diffused. The crew member who was shot was taken to a local hospital where he was later released, and producer AGC Studios officially shut down production. Film Finances has been called in to conduct an official investigation into what happened. For now, there are no direct plans on when filming will continue and if the producers will keep using the Dominican Republic, especially since many involved with the production reportedly flew home.
Geechee was scheduled to begin shooting back in March, but like many films, the principal photography was delayed because of Covid-19 concerns. It picked back up in mid-August and had four weeks of filming left prior to the incident. The movie stars Andrea Riseborough as a scientist and mother who decides to swap her New York City life for the Caribbean. Jamie Foxx is co-producing. Riseborough is a talented actress that's probably best known for her work on Bloodline, in The Grudge or in the Tom Cruise movie Oblivion, from which she's seen below.
What exactly happens right now is anyone’s guess. Lantica, which operates the shooting location in the Dominican Republic, has requested a full investigation from local authorities. It’s unclear how long that might take, and it’s also unclear whether the actors or crew members will be comfortable returning to the island to shoot. Production could always choose a different Caribbean island or try to find US or Mexico-based locations that can pass the eye test, but that could be complicated based on what has already been filmed.
One would have to imagine, however, that the single most important goal right now will be for the production to make sure the cast members and film crew are as comfortable as possible when they return to work. As such, they’ll probably need some straight answers on what exactly happened here and why and then they can make the best decision for all involved.