Zombie drama shuts down Georgia highway
Mike Benzie, Yahoo! Atlanta Editor
A zombie detour gives a whole new meaning to a mindless commute.
The popular AMC television show "The Walking Dead" began filming its second season here in Atlanta and is shutting down a state highway south of the city for most of this week.
A detour on Ga. 20 in Henry County near the Atlanta Motor Speedway will be shut down through late Thursday, Kimberly Larson, a spokeswoman for the state's Department of Transportation told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The detour began Sunday.
The Channel 2 Action News helicopter has an image of the show's set. There are dozens of cars backed up and strewn along the highway.
The AJC reports that traffic is being detoured off the highway in both directions at East Main Street.
"It's a big inconvenience. I live right off of 20 so for me to go to McDonough where I work, I have to go all the way around through Clayton, which is extra gas," driver Demond Williams told Channel 2 Action News' Carol Sbarge.
Larson told the AJC that DOT issued a press release saying the highway would be closed for road work because it wanted to limit the amount of people showing up to watch the filming of TV show.
"The Walking Dead" stars Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, and Sarah Wayne Callies. From the show's website: "Waking up in an empty hospital after weeks in a coma, County Sheriff Rick Grimes (Lincoln) finds himself utterly alone. The world as he knows it is gone, ravaged by a zombie epidemic. 'The Walking Dead' tells the story of the weeks and months that follow after the apocalypse."
This is just one of the major productions filming in the Atlanta area.
The Farrelly Brothers' "Three Stooges" has been filming here for almost a month, and "American Pie 4: American Reunion" is also shooting here. The Georgia Department of Economic Development is riding high on several major films either just released or soon-to-be-released. In a statement sent out Friday, the department highlighted the recent "X-Men: First Class," which was filmed on Jekyll Island in 2010. Upcoming movies "Wanderlust," "The Change-Up," and "Footloose" were also shot extensively in Georgia and metro Atlanta.
"Georgia is now among the top five states in the nation for film and TV production with more than 274 productions shot in Georgia from July 2010 through April 2011, bringing in more than $589.2 million in investment to Georgia," it said in the release.
Another major coup is the relocation of "The Family Feud" this summer from Orlando to Atlanta, where it will shoot more than 150 episodes in the hometown of host Steve Harvey.