Sag Harbor may have television stars Dylan and Cole Sprouse, on the screen at Bay Street Theatre Thanksgiving weekend, but according to producers for the duo’s feature film “The Kings of Appletown,” the village may see more of the Sprouse brothers in the future as producers mull shooting the twins’ next feature film right here in Sag Harbor.
The Sprouse brothers’ Disney show “The Suite Life on Deck” is television’s highest rated series for children six to 11 years old, earning second place in the nine-to-14-year-old demographic and drew 6.8 million viewers on October 2, its highest numbers to date. This is due in large measure to the enormous popularity of its charismatic 16-year-old teen stars who began their rise to fame on their first Disney show, “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody”
On Sunday, November 29 at 2:30 p.m. Sag Harbor teens, and parents, are invited to The Bay Street Theatre for a special screening of their unreleased feature film “The Kings of Appletown,” which is being brought to Bay Street by executive producers Tom Kelly and Joe Reilly and Blue Sky restaurant co-owner Gerry Wawryk.
Directed by Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert “Bobby” Moresco, who took home the film industry’s highest award with screenwriter Paul Haggis for penning the film “Crash,” “The Kings of Appletown” is inspired by the Mark Twain character of Tom Sawyer. It centers on two cousins – Will and Clayton – who, on the precipice of adulthood, growing up in a small, idyllic American town, witness a terrible crime. Will and Clayton are joined by their friend Becky in what is billed as a suspenseful, action-comedy that follows the trio as they quest to find the perpetrator and redemption for their own actions.
The film also includes the work of Emmy-nominated actress Kate Burton as Aunt Birdy. Burton, a well-known actress, is also the daughter of actor Richard Burton and Sybil Christopher, one of the founders of Bay Street and an artistic director at the East End theatre.
In addition to the screening, Wawryk said there would be a 2 p.m. “Meet the Filmmakers” session allowing for a question and answer period with the film’s award winning director and executive producers.
Both the screening and the Q & A, which will benefit Bay Street Theatre, has largely come about due to Wawryk’s efforts. Wawryk said on Monday that the producers have shown an interest in shooting the Sprouse brothers next feature film in Sag Harbor, and as a business owner, he would love nothing more than to see the community reap the economic benefits and notoriety that can come with hosting a film shoot.
In addition to community support for the project, Wawryk added that investors are also being sought for the project, and given the twins’ popularity — and the success of fellow Disney and Nickelodeon stars like Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers — said it seemed like a “no-brainer” of an investment in his mind.
“We are certainly interested,” said Kelly on Tuesday. “And seeing local interest and support always plays a role.”
Kelly said the crew of “The Kings of Appletown” found a lot of local support in New Braunfels, Texas, and it was the combination of that support with the idyllic scenery that led the team to shoot there. Sag Harbor, he said, has the same small-town, American feel.
“It is an idyllic, coastal community,” said Kelly. “The architecture is great, the people seem nice. Of course, this all plays a role in the kind of story we have in mind. Any location will play a role in a film like any other character. It adds depth, it adds layers and that makes it a better, more successful project.”
Reilly, who spent summers in Noyac and is familiar with Sag Harbor said the village was “very high up in consideration” for the next Sprouse brothers’ movie, which is also slated to be directed by Moresco. Moresco’s daughter Amanda penned the twins’ first film, an adaptation of “The Prince and the Pauper,” as well as “The Kings of Appletown,” and is also slated to write the next feature.
Reilly said the next film has a few central story ideas, including teens grappling with love, loyalty and alienation – themes all teens can relate to, even in the tony Hamptons.
“The whole world lives with that,” said Reilly. “It’s every kid and every community. More than just a universal theme, I think it could be a story that works very well out there.”
“The Kings of Appletown” will screen at The Bay Street Theatre on Long Wharf at 2:30 p.m. with doors opening at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 for children, $10 for adults and all proceeds will benefit Bay Street Theatre.