Costner, Harrelson drive ‘Highwaymen’ into St. John

Published 12:05 am Saturday, February 17, 2018

LAPLACE — Production of Netflix original film “The Highwaymen” is underway in St. John the Baptist Parish and surrounding areas, providing a unique economic opportunity.

Starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson and featuring Kathy Bates, John Carroll Lynch, Kim Dickens, Thomas Mann and William Sadler, “The Highwaymen” is slated for a 2018 release.

The film, produced by Casey Silver Productions, documents the true story of retired Texas Ranger Frank Hamer and ex-partner Maney Gault as they embark on an adventure in a last ditch effort to track down Bonnie and Clyde.

Principal photography will continue through next month, returning to Garyville March 15-16.

Production coordinator Kirk Johnson said Netflix has rented the St. John Community Center and New Wine Christian Fellowship in LaPlace for storage space.

St. John Parish is an ideal spot to house production because of its proximity to prominent cities in Louisiana, according to Johnson.

“For this particular film, it’s such a great, central location,” Johnson said.

“We’re shooting all over, and here we are close to New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Hammond, Donaldsonville. We’ve shot here in the Parish as well. It accomplishes everything we need.”

ZoraChristina Catering LLC, Petra Restaurant & Lounge and The Donut Hole are among the businesses that have been consistently utilized over the past couple of months to provide onsite catering for crewmembers, Johnson said.

“Every local vendor we have come to has been extremely nice and very accommodating,” he said. “It’s always nice working with people who are equally as excited about the project as you.”

Some residents have been cast as extras, while location scouts have approached others.

R.J. Ory said a scout came to his house to ask about using an old bank/pool hall he owns in Garyville for an exterior shot.

He and his wife had a chance to meet the leading actors and described it as an exciting experience.

Local film coordinator Jo Banner said every meal, rental and overnight stay from production crewmembers translates to more revenue for the Parish. Even minor purchases, such as miscellaneous props and outfits, from local stores have a positive impact, she said.

Banner recently served as a guest speaker for an economic development Lunch & Learn session titled “Engaging Your Business with the Film Industry.”

During the session, Banner told business owners to be flexible and prepared to accommodate the film industry, as many productions come with short notice.

She said additional film industry workshops are soon to come.

It’s the beginning of a series of investments on behalf of St. John the Baptist Parish to encourage tourism and film opportunities with overwhelming economic potential, according to River Parishes Tourist Commission Executive Director Buddy Boe.

Boe has met with the three directors of economic development from St. John, St. James and St. Charles parishes with plans to implement a regional office monitoring return on investment from film industry projects.

He said the River Region has versatility in scenery, with locations from Creole cottages to suburban neighborhoods capable of achieving almost any film look imaginable.

“Tourism is economic development,” Boe said. “Any time we have people spending, visiting businesses and using facilities, they usually leave the region better than they found it. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Johnson said locals can get involved in the filming process by joining the production as extras, adding Baton Rouge-based Caballero Casting, LLC has already hired a large number of extras out of LaPlace.

Visit for updates and descriptions of extras needed.