Activity at the Statesboro-Bulloch County Airport has spurred a lot of rumors regarding “Devotion” a war epic movie being filmed here.  La La Land and Sicario outfit Black Label Media is producing and financing the movie. They began filming in Savannah in February.

The rumors have been confirmed, some scenes for “Devotion” are being filmed at the Statesboro Airport. For the past few weeks hotels have reported brisk activity with set design, construction and other movie industry working in town.

At the airport they have constructed a replica of a Korean War era aircraft carrier and brought in some vintage Corsairs airplanes for the filming.

“To have the movie “Devotion” shot on location in our community is an amazing experience,” said Statesboro Mayor Jonathan McCollar. “This is just another good example of the great things that are happening in our city and an even better opportunity to share with the rest of the world how special the city of Statesboro is.” 

Photo by Kevin LaRosa, Deadline

Restricted Access to the Airport During Filming

The set is closed to the public due to COVID and safety issues. The airport has issued a NOTAM (A Notice To Airmen) through the FAA which requires aircraft wanting to land or takeoff from the Statesboro-Bulloch County Airport to give a two hour notice prior to a take off or landing.

This began March 17 and will end on April 7, 2021. It is in effect Monday through Friday from 8 am to 8:30 pm. The movie company is compensating the airport for use of the facility. The amount was not disclosed but a community member with knowledge of the project said it is an amount that makes the minor inconvenience worthwhile.

About the Movie

According to the website Deadline War epic Devotion, follows a pair of U.S. Navy pilots – including pioneering African American aviator Jesse Brown – who risked their lives during the Korean War and became some of the Navy’s most celebrated wingmen. Da 5 Bloods and Lovecraft Country actor Jonathan Majors stars alongside Hidden Figures and Top Gun: Maverick actor Glen Powell with supporting cast including pop star Joe Jonas. 

Jonathan Majors & Glen Powell AP Photos; Mega Agency

The addition of pop star Joe Jonas in his first dramatic role should help generate eyeballs. The casting has echoes of Harry Styles making his big screen debut in WWII epic Dunkirk.

Joe Jonas photo by Nicolas Gerardin

J.D. Dillard the 32-year old filmmaker is producing “Devotion” which is on one of the biggest-budget non-franchise movies of recent years.

J.D. Dillard – AP

The Dateline story explains that Devotion is about a heroic black Korean War pilot, Jesse LeRoy Brown whose story is a remarkable one. He overcame poverty and entrenched racial segregation in the pre-War south to attend university, earn his pilot wings and become a skilled aviator all by the time he was 23. He was the first Black man to be trained by the U.S. Navy as a naval aviator and became the first Black aviator to see combat.

Brown had flown 20 combat missions before his F4U Corsair aircraft came under fire and crashed on a remote mountaintop on 4 December 1950 while supporting ground troops at the Battle Of Chosin Reservoir. He died of his wounds despite the efforts of wingman Thomas J. Hudner Jr., who intentionally crashed his own aircraft in a rescue attempt.

Like the Korean War – which is sometimes called ‘The Forgotten War’ – Brown and Hudner’s narrative is little known outside of military circles.

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DeWayne Grice

Herschel DeWayne Grice is the founder of Grice Connect an online news and information company in Statesboro, Georgia. DeWayne has been active in the media for over three decades. He brings a unique insight...