The granddaughter of Virgil Patterson and niece of Tom Patterson, Leoni spent a lot of time in Amarillo as a child. When she met with Amarillo Chamber of Commerce President Gary Molberg Wednesday, she said she wanted to base her next movie in Amarillo because of the great memories she had here.
"It's about a divorced woman who brings her two children, moves back to Amarillo and lives with her parents," Molberg said. "And it takes off from there and, let me tell you, it's going to be a funny, well-done script. I think people will really enjoy it."
Molberg said Leoni referred to Amarillo as one of the "best-kept secrets." Parts of her movie will highlight not the tourist attractions of Amarillo, but other places that make the city what it is. The shops in Wolflin Village, perhaps...
"A lot of people think we're still just a one-horse town, you ride up and down the streets," Molberg stated. "And they're going to find out we have a city here, a population about 200,000 that's very diversified and provides anything and everything a person moving here would want."
Molberg pointed out Leoni plans to bring her own crew, but local people will also get the opportunity to help out.
"We anticipate she'll probably bring 20, 25, maybe 30 people in from outside Amarillo. She'll hire a lot of Amarillo people to help her produce the movie. So, we could have, probably, job opportunities through this up to 100 people."
According to Molberg, some big-name comedy actors will join Leoni on the Amarillo set.
Leoni has starred in movies such as Spanglish, Fun With Dick And Jane, The Family Man and Tower Heist.
Molberg expects filming to begin this September and to last three to four weeks. The Chamber will release more information as filming time draws near.