R.L. Stine’s Fear Street is getting a big screen adaptation trilogy and production is already under way in Georgia. The movie’s producers, Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping, are also producing the Starz drama P-Valley in Georgia. Chernin and Topping have announced they will make “a significant donation” to the ACLU after the state’s recently passed abortion bill. Last week, Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed a piece of legislation deemed the “heartbeat bill,” which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping found themselves in a bit of a pickle when the “heartbeat bill” was passed. The production duo already had projects, including the Fear Street trilogy, in Georgia going strong. They could have decided to pull the plug and look for a new location as many in Hollywood are banning Georgia as a shooting location due to the law, but that would have been another problem. Chernin and Topping had this to say in a statement.
“When the ‘fetal heartbeat bill’ was signed into law we were deep into production on two projects, our film trilogy Fear Street and the P-Valley TV series, so we’re conflicted about contributing to the health of an economy and a state that had declared war on the rights and freedom of its women. On one hand, if we chose the boycott route, thousands of jobs would be lost ultimately damaging workers who rely on production for livelihood, including many women. We also know that the only way to fight the massive, now national incursion on women’s rights is through a legal battle, a battle that needs funding and on the ground support via organizations like the ACLU who are powering up to overturn the law.”
The decision was made to keep Fear Street and P-Valley going in Georgia. Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping believe in a woman’s right to choose, but they didn’t want to be ripping jobs away from people either, which would be counter-intuitive to their actions. In the end, they figured out a compromise. They explain.
“So our choice became pretty clear, we will stay in Georgia, stand shoulder to shoulder with the women of that state and the states under attack, and fight to win. In doing so will be making a significant donation to ACLU because whatever upside we have needs to be shared with the women everywhere who have the right as human beings to make medical decisions as sovereign individuals.”
Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping’s decision comes after it was announced that J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele will shoot their new HBO series Lovecraft County in Georgia. They are set to begin production in a few weeks and have decided to make a donation to Fight It. Peele and Abrams also released a joint statement, which you can read below.
“In a few weeks we start shooting our new show, Lovecraft County, and will do so standing shoulder to shoulder with the women of Georgia. Governor Kemp’s ‘Fetal Heartbeat’ Abortion Law is an unconstitutional effort to further restrict women and their health providers from making private medical decisions on their terms. Make no mistake, this is an attack aimed squarely and purposely at women.”
The “heartbeat bill” makes it illegal for an abortion to take place once there is a fetal heartbeat, which could occur as early as six weeks, well before some women even know they are pregnant. There are some exceptions to bill, which include exceptions, such as to save the life of the mother or for rape and incest, but only if a woman files a police report. The bill is highly controversial and many in the entertainment industry have been looking for locations outside of Georgia to produce movies and television shows. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to announce the Fear Street news.