Woody Harrelson movie filming in Winnipeg puts out casting call for those with disabilities

Actor Woody Harrelson arrives on the red carpet for the movie " The Edge of Seventeen" during the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday, September 17, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu

A movie starring Woody Harrelson is set to shoot in Winnipeg, and people living with disabilities may have an opportunity to be in the film.

Harrelson is set to appear in the sequel to the blockbuster Hollywood film, 'Venom'. He's already lined up another project to film called 'Champions,' and it will be shot right here in Winnipeg.

The movie is said to be an American remake of a 2018 Spanish film of the same name. The movie will be directed by Bobby Farrelly, who previously worked on films including 'Something About Mary,' 'Dumb and Dumber,' and 'Shallow Hal.'

In the movie Champions, Harrelson will play the coach of a basketball team training and competing in the Special Olympics.

There will be opportunities for adults living with intellectual and developmental disabilities to appear in the movie. St. Amant, a not-for-profit organization working with Manitobans who live with developmental disabilities and autism, said this is a great opportunity for inclusion.

"We all love to escape and watch TV and movies. But it's meaningful when you connect with it, when you can see yourself," said Bre Brown, supervisor of leisure and opportunities at St. Amant.

"It makes you feel, not only connected to what you're watching, but it makes you feel connected to the world and the people around you."

Brown said visibility and representation are important for inclusion.

St. Amant said the film is looking for people 16 years old and up who live with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum.

"Movies like this, and opportunities for people to be a part of them really challenges the way that people think about disability," said Brown.

"And I think that is such a great start to inclusion. I hope that soon mainstream movies will have opportunities for people with disabilities to audition for roles and be represented in those ways."

St. Amant said shooting on the film is scheduled to happen in Winnipeg from November 1 to December 17.

More information can be found online.