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Published: November 08, 2007 12:03 pm    print this story   email this story   comment on this story  

Hollywood crew filming in New Braunfels

By Jeff Walker
Features Editor

New Braunfels Sure there’s been a few hundred young girls flocking to the set while actors are trying to work — it comes with the territory when the young, twin acting heartthrobs Cole and Dylan Sprouse are in town.

But for the most part, producer Joe Reilly has been amazed with New Braunfels and the Hill Country in general.

Hollywood film crews have spent the last two weeks in New Braunfels working on an upcoming movie “The Kings of Appletown.” They’ve filmed on the Guadalupe and Comal rivers, on local football fields and in several neighborhoods — and mostly to an extremely courteous audience.

“Yeah, we’ve had hundreds (of young fans) show up on set,” Reilly said. “It’s kind of funny, because a story point in the movie we have is how fast word travels in a small town. And it’s proven to be true here in New Braunfels. But, you know, the fans have been very good. Nobody was crazy. A lot of moms and parents came down with their kids. There’s a politeness in New Braunfels that’s very nice.”

The film is written by Amanda Moresco, daughter of Oscar winning director Bobby Moresco, who is directing “Kings of Appletown.” The story is inspired by Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer character, and tells the story of two boys growing up in an “anywhere” USA and finding themselves on the brink of adulthood.

“I feel myself very attracted to old stories. I love to show classical literature in a modern day setting,” Reilly said. “I feel like (this movie) is what Mark Twain would have written had he lived today.”

Reilly said that New Braunfels was picked because of its combined cultural elements, making it a perfect for the movie’s “Americana” theme.

He also said having the father/son dynamic between Bobby and Amanda has only made the movie stronger.

“They’re both incredibly supportive, and not just a father supporting his daughter. Amanda has supported Bobby and they’ve both worked long hard hours to make this all a reality.”

Reilly and Bobby have coffee every morning that they’re together in Los Angeles at a neighborhood coffee shop. The two just recently finished a project they were working on together called “The Prince and the Pauper: A Modern Mark Twain Story.”

“He and I have a coffee addiction. We meet at the same place at the same time every morning,” Reilly said. “I was sitting in an LA coffee shop (several years ago), talking to another friend about how great the movie ‘Crash’ (which Moresco directed) was, and he walked in and joined in the conversation. That’s how I met Bobby.”

The 15-year-old Sprouse brothers made their movie debut as Adam Sandler’s adopted son in “Big Daddy” in 1999. They also played Ross’ son Ben on the sit-com “Friends” and a minor role in the recent film “The Astronaut’s Wife.” The twins’ popularity has exploded with the recent success of the Disney Channel Series “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.”

The twins also have roles in “The Prince and the Pauper.”

“To say they are ‘becoming popular’ would be the understatement of the year,” Reilly said. “They’re huge. But they are very mature for their age, very disciplined very smart and professional. Their major fan base is anywhere from age seven to 16, and there’s been hundreds of them showing up (on sets). But the boys are professionals. They handle it very well.”

“Kings of Appletown” will continue filming in New Braunfels, with an estimated release of Christmas of 2008.

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