MANSFIELD -- Sylvester Stallone is returning to the Ohio State Reformatory, and again his task is to break out of prison.
Stallone, the star of Rocky and Rambo, is about to make his second movie at the famed Mansfield penitentiary. The action star is featured in "Escape Plan 3," which will have "90 percent" of its filmography at the Ohio State Reformatory, said Dan Smith, public relations director at OSR.
The Reformatory has been a popular place to film prison-themed movies, most notably the classic thriller "The Shawshank Redemption" in 1994.
"In the script, they needed an old prison," Smith said. "There are not a lot of old prisons you can go and shut the whole place down. They scouted the prison. The director loved it. Everyone loved it. It really fit well with the script."
Smith said the movie could be the biggest theatrical production at OSR since "Shawshank."
"'Air Force One' with Harrison Ford was shot here in 1997, but it was just a Russian prison scene," he said. "So this could definitely be a rival to Shawshank's production scale depending on the number of extras in the movie."
David Bautista will also be joining the escape plan, Smith added.
John Herzfeld will direct the film.
"Escape Plan" was released in 2013. Directed by Mikael Håfström, it starred Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and 50 Cent.
This will be the second movie at OSR for Stallone.
In 1989, he played Lt. Raymond Tango in "Tango and Cash." In that film Stallone's character was framed for murder and sent to prison. He and Lt. Gabriel Cash (played by Kurt Russell) break out of prison and go after the men who set them up for the crime.
Lee Tasseff, president of Destination Mansfield, said Lionsgate's production company toured the town before making its decision to shoot in Mansfield. With 90 percent of the movie being shot inside the reformatory, other scenes would be shot around town.
The hope is to film the whole movie in Mansfield, with the majority of the film shot at OSR. He said they're still scouting other filming sites and may shoot some scenes at the Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport, as well as tunnels, office spaces, and wooded areas around Mansfield.
Filming will take four weeks, beginning Sept. 18 and running through Oct. 13.
Tasseff acknowledged OSR's cooperation in making this project come to fruition.
"A big thank you to everyone at OSR for doing what they do so well to bring this opportunity here," he said. "The Reformatory is an incredible asset to our community in terms of generating positive awareness and bringing new money into the economy year round."
"Escape Plan 2: HADES" has an expected release in 2018.