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Md. lures HBO shoot with $3.5M incentive

HBO will shoot the film Game Change in Maryland this spring, Gov. Martin O’Malley’s office announced Friday afternoon.

The film depicts the 2008 presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain, from the surprise pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin through his general election defeat at the hands of Barack Obama.

The state, which will dole out $3.5 million in tax incentives to bring the film here, expects the shoot to employ 160 on the production crew and include 1,800 local actors and extras. It’s a nice get for the state, which has seen neighbor Virginia up its outlays to the film industry and others in the last year.

One role you won’t be auditioning for, however, is that of Palin. HBO has cast Julianne Moore to play McCain’s running mate. (Looks like Palin isn’t too happy about the flick.)

“HBO produces the highest quality and most-acclaimed films and series on television,” Gov. Martin O’Malley said in  written statement. “The talent involved in Game Change once again proves their commitment to entertainment excellence. We are very pleased to welcome HBO back.”

He may be even more pleased that HBO isn’t bringing a certain show back with it.

O’Malley has been very critical of the way The Wire portrayed Baltimore’s ills. He told a crowd at the Naval Academy two years ago that he “can’t stand” The Wire.

“I tell you what: I can’t stand ‘The Wire,'” O’Malley said, according to the AP report. “I can’t stand ‘The Wire.’ I can’t say that I’ve ever seen an entire episode of it. I watched enough of it to know that it did not portray the full picture of what Baltimore is all about as a city.”

HBO recently wrapped up shooting the pilot for the series VEEP, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and has also filmed in Maryland Shot in the Heart, The Corner and Something the Lord Made.

“We’ve had great experiences filming in Maryland,” said HBO Films president Len Amato. “The state offers a strong local base of talented crew and actors, and we are very grateful for the generous cooperation og the governor and the [Maryland] Film Office.”

Game Change is  based on the book of the same name by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin.