MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new Woody Harrelson movie is being shot in Minnesota.

The film “Wilson,” starring Harrelson and Laura Dern, is based on a Daniel Clowes novel of the same name that is set in Oakland, California. Producers decided the film should be shot in the Twin Cities.

“It sort of signals that we’re back,” Minnesota Film and TV Board executive director Lucinda Winter said.

“Wilson” is the first major studio film of its size to be filmed in Minnesota since the 2009 Coen Brothers’ production “A Serious Man.”

“They know they can get it done here and that leads to more business,” Winter said. “That’s what we want happening.”

Producers say the Twin Cities offered a variety of scenery in one location. Minnesota’s Snowbate program, that offers rebate incentives by filming in the state, was also a major draw.

“We wanted it to feel like a progressive city that had changing elements so it fit the bill,” film producer Mary Jane Skalski said. “And incentive, I won’t lie. The fact Minnesota has incentive plays a big part.”

Crews have shot all over the metro, including at the Mall of America, Como Park, and Mancini’s Char House and Lounge in St. Paul.

“All the locations have been fantastic and the people have been really great,” Skalski said.

The talent has Minnesota influence too — 70 percent of the movie’s roles were cast in the state. Skalski said the majority of the production crew is also from Minnesota.

The Minnesota Film and TV Board predicts the production will spend around $6 million in the area. They’re hoping it’s a sign more Hollywood films will use the Twin Cities as a backdrop.

“If we get them here to do a project then we’re in good shape because people always want to come back,” Winter said.

Filming of “Wilson” in Minnesota is expected to wrap by the end of the month. There is no set release date at this time.

Kate Raddatz

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