published Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Harrison Ford to star in Chattanooga movie

by Cliff Hightower
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Indiana Jones is coming to town.

Harrison Ford, the legendary actor who first made a splash with his role as Han Solo in "Star Wars," then went on to play adventurer/archaeologist Indiana Jones in four films, will have a role in a movie that is being shot in Chattanooga about Jackie Robinson, the first black man in major league baseball, city officials said.

"This will be the biggest film project ever to hit Chattanooga," said Missy Crutchfield, the city's administrator for the Department of Education, Arts and Culture.

Most of the Chattanooga filming will be shot in historic Engel Stadium, and city officials will vote next week whether to spend $25,000 on renovations to the baseball stadium for the movie.

The film is expected to be shot in May, June and possibly July.

According to several trade publications, Ford will be cast as Branch Rickey, the iconic baseball executive for the Brooklyn Dodgers who signed Robinson. Newcomer Chadwick Boseman will take the role of Robinson, trade publications state.

Legendary Pictures, which is producing the movie, could not be reached for comment as of press time Tuesday.

Along with his roles in "Star Wars" and the Indiana Jones movies, Ford also starred in such films as "The Fugitive," "Witness," "Blade Runner" and "Air Force One."

Council members were ecstatic Tuesday upon hearing the famous actor would be in town.

Crutchfield said Tuesday she could not confirm how much money the film company would spend on the renovations of Engel Stadium.

"I know they are going to put a significant amount," she said.

green global

Also Tuesday, the City Council voted 5-2 to table a motion about Global Green Lighting.

The company is seeking to install "green" street lighting across the city that would include low-emitting diode, or LED, lighting.

The city recently scaled back a plan to install 26,000 new LED streetlights, which would have cost about $18 million, and opted for 5,200 lights that would be downtown and along main roads and cost about $6 million.

Daisy Madison, the city's chief financial officer, said she had reservations about creating so much debt at once if the city chose to buy all 26,000 lights.

"There are lots of good projects in the city," she said. "It does eat up all my debt capacity for one year."

The council also heard from Don Lepard, owner of Global Green Lighting, who gave details on options between leasing and buying the new lights.

The council is expected to talk more about the project next week.

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