Mel Gibson

>AP

A residential building in Puerto Rico will serve as the backdrop for Mel Gibson’s newest film: “Forces of Nature”.

In the movie, burglars planning a heist during a hurricane run into trouble when a cop (Gibson) tries to help the residents of the building evacuate.

Gibson, whose arrival to the island is set for next week, wants to learn about Puerto Rican idiosyncrasy, explained the seasoned Puerto Rican producer Luillo Ruiz to THE WEEKLY JOURNAL.

The film, to be directed by Michael Polish (“Falls Idaho”, “Northfork” and “Jackpot”), will also star Emile Hirsch (”Lone Survivor”, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) and Kate Bosworth (”Superman Returns”, “Still Alice”).

Filming is set to begin during the third week of July in Miramar and Guaynabo and expected to last four weeks. With a budget nearing $23 million, of which $15 million are set to be invested in Puerto Rican goods and services, the film’s production crew will be 90 percent Puerto Rican, which translates to at least 300 people.

Ruiz, owner of Pimienta Films, said that 12 local actors will have secondary roles and that there will be 150 local extras and day players.

“The production and costume designers are Puerto Ricans and the majority of the crew is Puerto Rican. I am very proud of that,” Ruiz added.

Ruiz went on to explain that, although “Force of Nature” will be set in Puerto Rico, it is a work of fiction and is not related to the passage and aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

“We are capitalizing on the resources that Puerto Rico has to offer us in terms of infrastructure, tax incentives, equipment, the skills of our ‘staff’, the locations, and the people. There are a lot of film industry professionals on the island who are wonderful and who can create a complete world of action and adventure,” the producer said.

He also stated that they are still working on calculating the tax credits to be received for the film production.In the past few years, Ruiz and his team have produced other films on the island.

Among these are “Speed Kills”, interpreted by John Travolta; “Driven”, a production with Jason Sudeikis affected by hurricane Maria; and “Primal”, with Nicolas Cage. Also filmed on the island earlier this year were “Trauma Center”, starring Bruce Willis, and “Axis Sally” with Al Pacino.

Both movies are currently in the post-production stage.Ruiz highlighted that the excellent work of the Puerto Rican people in these blockbusters will continue to attract more productions to the island.

Managing Editor for The Weekly Journal. She has 14 years of experience as a print and radio reporter, news editor and TV anchor. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Journalism from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus.

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