Evan’s Almighty dollar
For months, the filming of Evan Almighty out in Crozet was the talk of the town. Now the film’s ballooning budget is the talk of Hollywood. According the Los Angeles Times, the film’s cost will reach the $175 million mark by the time it’s finished in December, making it the most expensive comedy ever made.
Apparently, while we were star-struck with the big Hollywood production, which involved the construction of a 400-foot "ark" in Crozet’s Old Trail Village development, director and UVA alum Tom Shadyac and crew were busy spending boat loads of money. According to Universal Studio execs, the Times reports, most of the overun was the result of 11 extra days of shooting in Virgina, where they say bad weather delayed the construction of the ark and the crew ran into difficulties "trying to coordinate animals and children's shooting schedules." The execs also cite unexpected costs for visual effects.
Of course, it’s important to remember that Evan’s prequel, Bruce Almighty, grossed $485 million world-wide. Then again, it’s important to remember that Bruce Almighty starred Jim Carrey. Still, studio execs have high hopes for Evan (do they really have a choice?) and are expecting it to be next summer’s big hit.
"Is it costing a little more than we wanted? Yes," one of the producers told the Times. "Is it worth it? Definitely. This has the potential to be bigger than the original."