EXCLUSIVE: A nuclear bomb was ‘irretrievably lost’ off the coast of Savannah, Georgia some 50 years ago and now has become the backdrop for a film that will be the first producing gig for Jay DeMarcus, bassist and music producer from the band Rascal Flatts. All Shook Up, from a screenplay by Gregg Russell, is a coming-of-age film about two 11-to-12 year-old boys who go on the hunt for the missing nuke in the Atlantic. The producers will be hiring a director shortly for a planned first quarter 2018 shoot.
The project is getting a big boost as DeMarcus plans to produce the film and the score/soundtrack, which will feature remakes of 1950s-era music by today’s top country stars. Plans are to shoot in Tybee Island, S.C.; Savannah; and in and around Amelia Island, Florida, DeMarcus told Deadline.
The coming of age story takes place after a real life event. In 1958, during the height of the Cold War, a scrambled Air Force jet fighter collided with an American B-47 bomber resulting in a 7,600-pound atomic bomb being dropped off the coast of Savannah. That bomb has never been found (despite a fake story circulating on the Internet).
Travis Cloyd will also produce and Guy Griffithe will serve as executive producer for All Shook Up.
How did DeMarcus find this story? “My wife had been going to see Gregg Russell perform when she was younger,” DeMarcus told Deadline. Russell is a well-known musician who began singing under the Liberty Oak to kids in Hilton Head, and has since built a strong and loyal following. He not only started a tradition in the area, but has written numerous children’s songs. He also started Hilton Head Heroes to help sick kids and their families.
“Gregg and I developed a friendship over the years, and at one point, we started talking about our love of the film industry. He emailed me the script and said there was great interest in having it funded and for me getting involved, particularly from the soundtrack end,” said DeMarcus. “I read it and was just immediately taken in by it. It’s a great, wholesome family story.”
DeMarcus, who has acted in numerous TV shows and films, added that he and his wife Allison DeMarcus will take on two of the smaller roles: the parents of one of the boys.
DeMarcus is repped by Clarence Spalding at Maverick Management and WME.