By Timothy McNulty, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh will host another member of the "Superbad" troupe when director Kevin Smith's latest movie starts filming in the city in January.
The filmmaker announced that Seth Rogen, the writer and co-star of the hit, R-rated summer comedy, will play the lead in Mr. Smith's film "Zack & Miri Make A Porno," alongside Elizabeth Banks of "The 40-Year-Old Virgin."
The announcement follows the filming of "Adventureland," the movie shot the last several weeks by "Superbad" director Greg Mottola at Kennywood Park and other Pittsburgh-area sites. Its last day of shooting was yesterday.
The arrival of "Zack and Miri" and the filming of "Adventureland" mark the latest in several, mainly small-budget films to make their way to the region in the past few years.
Others include "Mysteries of Pittsburgh," based on the Michael Chabon novel and (memorably for Pittsburghers) starring Sienna Miller; "Smart People," with Dennis Quaid and Sarah Jessica Parker; and "The Bridge to Nowhere," Blair Underwood's directorial debut. "Smart People" has a tentative April 2008 release date.
Television made a short splash in Pittsburgh this year, too. The Spike TV series "The Kill Point" was filmed here, though it won't be picked up for a second season.
Local film industry boosters hope to build on the movie momentum, aided by last summer's passage of film tax credits by the General Assembly, a growing pool of local actors and film crews, and the efforts of such groups as the publicly funded Pittsburgh Film Office and the private Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Steeltown Entertainment.
In addition to "Superbad," Mr. Rogen, 25, also has appeared in "Virgin" and "Knocked Up,'' another hit comedy from this summer. Combined, the three movies have grossed almost $500 million, and all are affiliated with producer/director Judd Apatow.
Mr. Smith -- best-known for his debut film "Clerks" and as Silent Bob with partner Jay (Jason Mewes, also cast in "Zack and Miri") -- will be filming his second movie in Pittsburgh, following 1999's "Dogma."
"We're very, very excited to have Kevin back," said Pittsburgh Film Office director Dawn Keezer, who credited the state's new $75 million tax incentive program for landing the film.
Only a skeleton crew for "Zack and Miri" is in town now, with more expected to arrive after Thanksgiving. Principal photography is not expected until mid-January, Ms. Keezer said, and shooting locations are still being scouted.
In the film, Mr. Rogen and Ms. Banks play two friends who try to solve their financial problems by filming an X-rated movie. Mr. Mewes, of "Clerks," has a supporting role.
The filmmaker wrote the Zack role in the raunchily titled film specifically for Mr. Rogen.
"It's very much a love story," Mr. Smith told USA Today. " 'Zack and Miri' just want to make a good old-fashioned dirty movie."
Tim McNulty can be reached at email@example.com or 412-263-1581.
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