Minnie Driver, Dianna Agron, Ed Westwick to shoot movie in Chicago

Just because the weather is getting colder doesn’t mean Chicago is done playing host to Hollywood this year.

The indie thriller “A Conspiracy on Jekyll Island” will begin shooting in Chicago before the end of the year for four weeks, according to writer and director Aram Rappaport (“Syrup”). The movie stars Minnie Driver (“Good Will Hunting”), Dianna Agron (“Glee”), Ed Westwick (“Gossip Girl”), John Leguizamo (“Ice Age”), Frank Grillo (“Prison Break) and Maggie Q (“Nikita”).

Variety reports that the “Story follows an ex-Wall Street man, played by Grillo whom the Secretary of the Treasury enlists to thwart a cyber attack that threatens to derail the American economy. With the help of his wife, he recruits his rag tag team of misfits, and prepares to save the world from total financial implosion.”

“I like this type of movie because it asks questions but doesn’t try to answer them,” Rappaport said Wednesday over the phone. “That would be a tall order for a two hour movie, to answer how we can fix the American debt. To me, it’s supposed to ignite the discussion.”

Rappaport said the entire production will shoot on-location in Chicago, meaning there will be no filming in a studio. Shooting will mostly take place in the Loop and on the lakefront, aside from scenes that are set in the Hamptons. Evanston, Winnetka and Kenilworth are being considered as a stand-in for those scenes.

So why did Rappaport decide to shoot the movie in Chicago?

“The first movie I ever did was shot in Chicago,” Rappaport said of 2009’s “Innocent,” starring Alexa Vega. “The city was very supportive of the movie even though I did it for a very small amount (of money). When this political thriller came along and we were looking for a space in the financial world, we figured New York has been shot plenty of times. Chicago is a financial city in itself and would lend itself to a beautiful background. It’s so visually stunning, being on the lake. We also have the ability to cheat other locations. We can shoot a couple streets for New York, for Washington DC and the Hamptons without having to pick up and move anywhere.”

“A Conspiracy on Jekyll Island” will join the list of movies that have already shot in Chicago this year, including “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” “Divergent” (which also featured Maggie Q) and “Jupiter Ascending.” The difference is those films were here during the warmer months, which is normally when movies shoot in Chicago.

“(The cast) is afraid of the cold because no one lives in a cold city,” Rappaport said. “Everyone is from Los Angeles. I would love for it to snow (during the shoot). We can’t afford those sort of special effects. That to me would be exciting and would add another element to production.”

lgomez@tribune.com | Twitter @TribLuis

For more celebrity news and sightings in Chicago, go to chicagotribune.com/luis

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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