Ashley Judd, Patrick Wilson

Shooting starting this week in Virginia

Altar Identity Studios has come on board to co-produce and finance small-town romance “Big Stone Gap,” starring Ashley Judd, Patrick Wilson and Whoopi Goldberg.

Donna Gigliotti (“Shakespeare in Love”) is producing with James Spies (“The Contender”) and J. E. Craig on the movie version based on the series of novels by Adriana Trigiani. Shooting starts Oct. 19 in Trigiani’s home town of Big Stone Gap in western Virginia with Trigiani making her directorial debut and helming from her own script.

The first novel was published in 2001 followed by sequels “Big Cherry Holler,” “Milk Glass Moon” and “Home to Big Stone Gap.” The story centers on middle-aged spinster Ave Marie Mulligan finding love and a sense of self amid the eccentrics in a small Virginia coal town.

Judd will portray Ave Marie Mulligan. She appeared earlier this year in “Olympus Has Fallen.”

Wilson will play Jack McChesney. He recently starred in “The Conjuring” and “Insidious Chapter 2.”

The deal for Big Stone Gap was negotiated by Graham Taylor at WME with Wade Bradley and Helen Rosenberg at Altar Identity Studios.

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