Actor Tom Cruise poses for a picture at the Cherokee airport during an earlier scouting trip for a movie set to shoot in Ball Ground and south Pickens.
By Larry Cavender,
Ball Ground correspondent
Ball Ground is the chosen one! At the regularly scheduled meeting of the Ball Ground City Council on Thursday evening, City Manager Eric Wilmarth announced that shortly before 6 p.m., Ball Ground officials were notified that the city had been selected by a movie production company as a location for several scene's in the upcoming movie, Mena, starring Tom Cruise.
Speculation had been running rampant over the past several weeks that Ball Ground might be used for location filming in the movie. After several weeks of visits by a location scouting team and especially after a surprise visit to the town a couple of weeks ago by Cruise himself, rumors had been circulating that a decision was close. It is now official.
The movie is a fact-based story concerned with the life of Barry Seal, a drug trafficker and gun runner operating out of Mena, Arkansas, who worked undercover for the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1980's. Cruise will play the part of Seal.
Not only are locations in Ball Ground to be used, but several locations in southern Pickens County may be featured in the motion picture as well.
When making the announcement to the city council, Wilmarth reported, "The production company says filming will begin soon." The council chambers erupted into applause from those attending when the announcement was made.