Nearly three decades after the film "Twister" zipped through movie theaters across the globe, weather enthusiasts are gearing up for a new movie that will again focus on one of Mother Nature’s most powerful forces.
"Twisters" has been in the works for more than a year, and during a special Super Bowl commercial on Sunday, fans got to see a preview of what is in store for the new movie set to be released in theaters on July 19.
According to Universal Pictures, the feature film will revolve around death-defying storm chasing.
Beyond filming sites that have been spotted by the public throughout the Oklahoma City metro, production companies have been mum on the movie’s details.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the natural disaster-focused film is being shot in a region that has a history of violent tornadoes, but many of the sets spotted by onlookers are mock-ups of scenes that happen in real life.
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One of these locations was near Midwest City, which is about a ten-minute drive from downtown Oklahoma City.
Jeremiah Wheeler passed by the set in mid-December and took plenty of photos of a hotel and rodeo that appeared as if they had taken a direct hit from a tornado. But in the world of cinematography, thrown about debris, cars and damaged roofs can make any scene look as if a damaging thunderstorm just rolled through.
In some of the photos, a blue, older model Volkswagen van decked out with weather observation equipment appears ready for a storm-chasing mission.
It’s unknown whether the vehicle will play a central part in the movie, much like that of Bill Harding’s Dodge Ram pickup truck or Dustin Davis’ "barn burner" GMC Vandura bus in the 1996 blockbuster.
Sights similar to the one in Midwest City have been spotted throughout the Oklahoma City area. According to a local traffic control company, its assistance was needed to put up barricades in El Reno, Cashion, Kingfisher, Okarche, Chickasha and Spencer.
Even though filming has occurred in some typical Oklahoma settings, there are signs that producers might have transformed some sets to make it seem to viewers that actors were in a city hundreds of miles away.
In December, several social media users posted photos of downtown Oklahoma City, but streets appeared to have been decorated to make the set resemble New York City.
Taxis and even a bus had markings of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is the corporation that runs New York’s public transportation network. Only those who are privy to the movie’s script know the significance behind a possible NYC appearance in "Twisters."
From what has been publicly released about the film, production companies have not alluded to the feature dabbling in science fiction, so it is unlikely a scene found in "The Day After Tomorrow" is coming to the big screen.
Tornadoes do strike big cities, but due to the ratio of downtown landscapes versus the quantity of suburban and rural terrain that exists, events are considered sporadic at best.
Could one of the cast members have a connection to NYC? It is possible.
Actors Glen Powell and Daisy Edgar Jones are thought to have significant roles in the film and have been spotted around Oklahoma.
Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment originally called the movie a sequel to "Twister," but it remains unclear how much of the previous film’s storyline will be incorporated in this newest chapter.
The involvement of the same major production companies and tornado-alley filming locations suggests there could be similarities between the two movies. As is common practice in the entertainment industry, no one is spilling the details of the newest creation.
Even though production is in the Sooner State, none of the leading actors from the 1996 film appear to be playing a significant role.
Bill Paxton died in 2017, and Helen Hunt has not appeared in a major motion picture in several years.
Some of the movie’s first clues could come from trailers that will likely be released several months ahead of its planned July distribution.