It’s got all the makings of a movie shot in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina—picturesque backdrops, roaring rivers and a father trying to teach his son how to hunt.
“The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter,” starring Josh Brolin and Danny McBride, was filmed in remote areas around WNC and partly in McDowell County at the Flats Offroad Park and adjacent property. The movie made its debut on Netflix on July 6, and follows a famed deer hunter and outdoor TV host (Brolin) who takes his son on a trip to bond in the outdoors with his cameraman (McBride), who films the whole trip for their show.
In an interview with South by Southwest (SXSW) Senior Editor Grae Drake, McBride said they filmed in “a lot of beautiful places in the mountains of North Carolina,” and that a lot of hiking was involved.
Throughout the movie, views of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Table Rock are recognizable along with areas of the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests.
However, many of the scenes with the characters riding four wheelers through wooded terrain were filmed at the Flats Offroad Park in Marion back in December 2015. The private land area has 68 acres of woods and open field with winding dirt-road tracks and obstacles for any 4x4 enthusiast.
Flats owner Jason Floyd spoke to The McDowell News three years ago confirming the film crews on his property, and again on Wednesday to talk about what he noticed in the film.
“I watched it the other night. It’s pretty funny,” said Floyd. “I was excited the whole time waiting for it to come out.”
Floyd said he got to watch some of the action take place three years ago, and recognized much of his property in the film.
“Some of it was on the adjoining property so I couldn’t tell exactly, but definitely the part after he crashed the four wheeler and they are standing on the hill was on mine,” said Floyd.
He said it was an experience he will never forget, including when he got to meet Brolin and many other cast members and crew.
“It was pretty awesome,” he said in 2015. “He’s a cool guy; he’s just like you and me.”
When asked about any other blockbuster companies coming to use his property anytime soon, he said no, but the Flats is planning a huge open ride and concert event the third weekend of August with up-and-coming country music singers and a production company.
Also in 2015, The McDowell News reported film crews rented out a building at the Old Fort Finishing plant to film. A source with knowledge of the building, who asked that his name not be used, said he talked to the film crew and saw them moving in shrubbery and other outdoor items to be used in the movie. He said they were setting up an outdoors scene inside the warehouse to use in case of rain. He shared a photo of the inside where they are working that showed a built platform with stacks of rock and a fence running around it.
McBride and director Jody Hill are both familiar to North Carolina. Hill was born in Concord, and he and McBride both graduated from the UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. McBride and Hill have a slew of films and features on their resume, and together they produced the hit series “Eastbound and Down,” and “Vice Principals” on HBO.
“The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter” is now streaming on Netflix.
“The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter”
Streaming on Netflix
Not recommended for children under 14
1 hour, 23 minutes