Vancouver Screen Scene: Rihanna and Blair Witch to Beaches and When Calls the Heart


Will Rihanna survive her visit with a Psycho who lives in a place that could very well be called “Disturbia”?

Yes, it’s true. One of the world’s biggest pop stars will be coming to Vancouver to check in to a very particular motel.

In addition to that, we find out which sequel to a game-changing horror movie was secretly filmed in Vancouver, production on a horror TV series set at a summer camp wraps up, a 1980s box-office smash starring Bette Midler gets a TV remake, and a Canadian Western TV series gets back into production.

The news broke at Comic-Con International in San Diego on July 22 when audiences were surprised by a video announcement made by none other than Rihanna.

Rihanna will be playing Marion Crane, the role played by Janet Leigh in Alfred Hitchcock’s original 1960 Psycho film, on the A&E series Bates Motel.


Rihanna—a good girl gone Psycho?

Crane, as we all know, was killed by Norman Bates in the shower. (Freddie Highmore plays Bates on the TV series.) Will the same fate befall RiRi?

Freddie Highmore

Will Freddie Highmore be the one to put an end to Rihanna?

Rihanna will star on the fifth and final season of the A&E series shot here.

She previously starred in the 2012 sci-fi blockbuster Battleship and has a role in Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, an adaptation of a graphic novel series, to be released in 2017.

Rihanna in Battleship

Rihanna really should bring along her gun from Battleship when she has a shower at the Bates Motel.

The other big Vancouver-related news at Comic-Con was that audiences who attended a screening of a new horror film entitled The Woods were surprised to discover that they were actually watching the latest sequel to the 1999 found-footage horror hit Blair Witch Project.

Blair Witch

The Blair Witch sequel revisits the found-footage horror genre.

The third film in the series, actually titled Blair Witch, was secretly shot in this city last year and will be released in theatres on September 16.

It stars Wes Robinson (American Dreams), Valorie Curry (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 2), and Corbin Reid.

Valorie Curry

Valorie Curry

The film follows the brother of one of the filmmakers who heads into the forest, along with three other documentary filmmaking students, to search for his sister, who vanished 20 years ago.

The storyline will sidestep the events of the panned 2000 sequel Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2.

Here’s a look at the freaky trailer to give you the creeps:

On the subject of all things creepy, Season 1 of the TV series Dead of Summer is wrapping on August 4.

The series began shooting in Vancouver on March 21.

It’s set at a Midwest summer camp, Camp Stillwater, in the 1980s, where kids and counsellors plan to spend an idyllic season of fun.

Unfortunately, the camp is haunted by deaths and demonic forces, casting a dark and evil shadow over the summertime proceedings.

Elizabeth Mitchell

Elizabeth Mitchell

Among the cast are Elizabeth Mitchell (LostOnce Upon a Time) and Elizabeth Lail (Once Upon a Time).

Moving on to less scary subjects, a TV movie of the week remake of Garry Marshall’s 1988 smash-hit film Beaches, starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey, starts shooting on August 15.

Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel

The adaptation stars Frozen’s Idina Menzel as aspiring singer CC, who meets rich kid Hillary under the boardwalk on the beach and the two become lifelong friends.

It will air in 2017.

Erin Krakow

Erin Krakow

Meanwhile, the Canadian-American TV series When Calls the Heart enters its fourth season of production on August 15, continuing until December 9.

The Western family drama stars Erin Krakow as Elizabeth Thatcher, a young teacher from the city who is assigned to teach in a small mining town in Western Canada in the early 1900s.

Daniel Lissing

Daniel Lissing

As she learns to adapt to the Canadian frontier, she befriends, then falls for, Mountie Jack Thorton (Daniel Lissing).

Elsewhere in the city, two productions that we previously mentioned kick into production today (August 2).

Helen Hunt

Helen Hunt

The feature film Live Like Line starts production today and continues until September 13. Based on a true story, it stars Helen Hunt as a volleyball coach who has to help her team of high-school girls continue on to the state championship after the accidental death of their star player, Caroline “Line” Found.

It also stars William Hurt as Caroline’s father, who overcomes his grief to help the team carry on.

Eli Goree

Eli Goree stars in both The 100 and Dead of Summer.

The post-apocalyptic TV series The 100 also starts today and continues until January 16, 2017. The cast includes Eliza Taylor, Paige Turco, Thomas McDonell, and Canadian actor Eli Goree (who also stars in Dead of Summer).

And that wraps up this week’s report but, as always, stay tuned for more twists and turns to come next week in the never-ending story called Hollywood North.

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