SANTA CRUZ — The new film about the late Santa Cruz surfer Jay Moriarity has a new name, a few new co-stars and a new plan for shooting the famous paddle-out scene.
The scene to re-enact the paddle-out that took place shortly after Moriarity’s 2001 death will now take place Friday. Originally, the film’s producers had hoped to shoot the scene Thursday and Friday, but surf conditions and other schedule changes have revised the original plan. Extras are being asked to show up at 6:30 a.m. Friday in Pleasure Point.
Walden Media’s coordinator for extras Joel Domhoff stressed that though the paddle-out is scheduled for Friday, the plan is still fluid and subject to change.
“I wish I could say that it’s 100 percent,” he said, “but it may change again.”
The film, directed by Curtis Hansen and starring Gerard Butler, also has a new name. After being called “Mavericks” and, briefly, “Iron Cross,” the film’s working title is “Of Men and Mavericks.”
Jonny Weston, an accomplished surfer, has been cast to play Jay Moriarity. Weston is shooting “Cherry,” starring with James Franco and Dev Patel.
Walden Media also announced that, among the new cast members of the film, are Elisabeth Shue — nominated for an Oscar for her starring role in “Leaving Las Vegas” — Abigail Spencer (“Mad Men”) and Taylor Handley (“The O.C.”).
The primary scenes in which the public will interact with the film crew include Friday’s paddle-out shoot, and a planned scene at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, scheduled for Oct. 24 or 25.
The crew spent its first day in Santa Cruz on Monday shooting surfing scenes at Steamer Lane and West Cliff Drive. Tuesday, the shoot was moved to Pleasure Point, where Moriarity grew up and lived with his young wife Kimberly before his death in June 2001 in a diving accident a day before his 23rd birthday.
The film’s producer and screenwriter Brandon Hooper said that he has met several locals who have come down to the film’s set to talk about Moriarity.
“It’s amazing how present Jay is in everyone’s mind,” said Hooper. “I mean, I don’t think I’ve had a conversation with someone about him without them getting emotional about what kind of guy he was.”
“Of Men and Mavericks” tells the story of Moriarity and his longtime friend and mentor Frosty Hesson who will be played by Butler, the popular star of “300.”
Hooper said that Hesson and Kim Moriarity have been on the set every day. After shooting in Santa Cruz, the production crew will move on to Half Moon Bay to shoot the footage at Mavericks.