‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ shows how far Georgia has come as the Hollywood of the South

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It’s expected to be one of the heftiest box office hits of the summer (and year) — but before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens this weekend, the film had a preview screening April 30 at the Fox Theatre.

The sequel to the surprise hit of 2014 was filmed in Georgia at Pinewood Atlanta Studios last year and brings back the original cast — including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker and Bradley Cooper. New faces in the cosmos this go-around include Kurt Russell, as the father of Pratt’s character Peter Quill, and Sylvester Stallone. No major cast members were present at the screening, but many local dignitaries and industry members walked the red carpet and spoke beforehand.

Bert Brantley, COO of the Georgia Economic Development Agency — which houses the Georgia Film Office — introduced the film and thanked Governor Nathan Deal for his commitment to tax incentives that have revolutionized the state. “Ten years ago, Georgia had $250 million worth of filming and economic impact down here,” he said. “Last year, there was $7 billion. Those jobs are for our people and citizens. It means people spending money at hotels and restaurants and more taxes coming in to Georgia. Thank you to the film industry for your commitment to Georgia and making great films here. What people love is our Southern hospitality, which they don’t get in New York and California.”

See more at ArtsATL.

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