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Universal sets sights on Libertyville High
By Russell Lissau | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 2/13/2008 12:17 AM

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The bright lights of Hollywood may once again shine on Libertyville next month.

A production crew associated with Universal Pictures is considering shooting scenes for a movie at Libertyville High School, Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 officials confirmed Tuesday.

The campus on Route 176 is one of several schools being considered for the unnamed film project, District 128 Assistant Superintendent Yasmine Dada said.

District 128 officials are negotiating contract terms with the film team now, Dada said. Although there's no guarantee the production will come to Libertyville High, officials are excited about the possibility.

"To have one of our schools featured in a nationwide motion picture is a pretty thrilling thing," board President Anne Landgraf said.

Libertyville is no stranger to the Hollywood limelight. The last picture to shoot here was "New Port South," which filmed at District 128's Brainerd campus in 2000.

Hundreds of area teens were used as extras in the movie, which was released by Touchstone Pictures.

The Universal production team is interested in shooting during two school days in a science lab and an office and at the school's front entrance, Dada said.

The team hasn't identified the project's director but has indicated the star is "a pretty well-known individual," Dada said. The film likely would have a PG-13 rating, Dada said.

According to the Chicago Film Office's Web site, only one Universal movie is set to film in the area in March: Oscar-nominated director Michael Mann's "Public Enemies," a story about legendary FBI agent Melvin Purvis' pursuit of criminal John Dillinger in the 1930s.

"The Dark Knight" star Christian Bale is set to play Purvis, and "Pirates of the Caribbean's" Johnny Depp will star as Dillinger.

Dada did not know if "Public Enemies" is the production considering Libertyville High, however.

The movie will film in Chicago from mid-March through May, according to the film office.

District 128 officials hope to finalize the details within a week or 10 days. The district would be paid for allowing the film crew to use the school, Dada said.

Lake County has a rich cinematic history. Popular movies filmed in the area include "The Blues Brothers," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Ocean's Twelve" and "Batman Begins."

The late acting legend Marlon Brando spent some of his childhood living in the Libertyville area. He briefly attended high school at the Brainerd campus before transferring to military school.