Fla. location lands sequel to touching family film ‘Dolphin Tale’

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday that “Dolphin Tale 2,” a movie produced by Alcon Entertainment, will be filmed at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in the fall.

The original film, released in 2011, was inspired by the true story of Winter, a bottlenose dolphin rescued off the Florida coast and taken in by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, according to Wikipedia. The dolphin lost her tail after becoming entangled with a rope attached to a crab trap and was fitted with a prosthetic.

While many will look forward to the sequel, the announcement is good news for Clearwater’s economy.

“It’s exciting that ‘Dolphin Tale 2’ will be filmed here in Florida,” Scott said in a statement released from his office. “Today’s announcement will create more economic activity and opportunities for families living in Pinellas County.  This exciting news builds on the economic momentum that Florida is currently experiencing.”

The first “Dolphin Tale” brought $17 million in revenue to the state and provided jobs for nearly 1,300 Floridians working as crew members, actors and extras, Scott’s statement said. The local economy also benefited from equipment rentals, hotel accommodations, catering and other production expenses.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium saw attendance almost quadruple to about 750,000 after the film was released, with many visitors traveling from out of state. Because of increased visitors to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, earlier this year the aquarium announced plans to build a new facility in downtown Clearwater. A study from the University of South Florida’s St. Petersburg College of Business estimated the films will have a $2 billion economic impact on the area over the next five years, according to Scott’s office.

“Dolphin Tale 2” is scheduled to be released in theaters Sept. 19, 2014, and will star Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium will be the primary filming location.

Watch the trailer for the first “Dolphin Tale” here.

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