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Chicken-Fried News: Hollywood ‘Oklahoma’

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INGVARD ASHBY
  • Ingvard Ashby

The Watchmen television series earned high critical praise for its ambitious run on HBO, which included the first-ever on-screen depiction of the Tulsa Race Massacre, but if fans want to tour Oklahoma after watching the series, they’ll be surprised that it looks nothing like its Georgia-shot locations that stand in for Tulsa.

The latest in the line of “That’s too many hills to be Oklahoma” comes with next summer’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which takes the new generation of the comedy sci-fi franchise out of New York and plants in a fictional Oklahoma town. The production, which is helmed by Jason Reitman, son of original director Ivan Reitman, took place in Canada.

The new movie stars Carrie Coon, who is married in the film to real-life Tulsa native Tracy Letts, and includes Finn Wolfhard (Mike from Stranger Things) and McKenna Grace. We should’ve known the production was in Canada because there’s no way Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt would allow Wolfhard within a 200-mile radius of the metro area without snapping a selfie with the teen star.

The initial trailer for the film, which will be released in summer 2020, shows familiar Ghostbusters technology in an unfamiliar setting — verdant wheat fields, large mountainous quarries and other things that an outsider might think of as Oklahoma. The state is actually very diverse and home to every type of climate except for an ocean, but Ozark Mountains don’t look like farmland.

The new Ghostbusters film will include cameos from original cast members Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver and acts as if the female-centric 2016 reboot doesn’t exist at all, kind of like lush green Oklahoma farmlands in the foothills of the mountains.

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