One of the most infamous crimes in South Mississippi will soon be the subject of a movie that will be filmed on the Coast.
“The Cornbread Cosa Nostra” is filmmaker Travis Mills’ tale of the Dixie Mafia and the late 1980s slaying of a Biloxi couple. Vincent and Margaret Sherry were found dead in their Sunkist area home in Biloxi on Sept. 14, 1987. It will be the 30th anniversary of their deaths this year.
Although the “Sherry murders” has been the subject of numerous articles and books, Mills said he wanted his film, which he wrote and is directing, to be his own vision.
“I’ve spent a lot of time interviewing one of the FBI agents that was assigned to the case,” Mills said. “We kind of went our own way with it — it’s based on what happened but it’s very fictionalized — I would describe it as ‘Miami Vice’ by way of the Cohen Brothers.”
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Ocean Springs resident Jeremy London will play the lead role in the film and is serving as one of its producers. He said the subject matter is notorious.
“We changed the names but we kept a lot of the circumstances because it was just too fascinating not to,” London said.
Mills said the film is currently in pre-production.
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London said one of the film’s stars is a Mississippi sports legend.
“My brother is friends with Marcus Dupree on Facebook,” London said. “He told my brother that he would like to do a ‘little acting,’ so he put him in touch with me.”
Dupree, a native of Philadelphia, Mississippi, was a highly-recruited high school football standout. His recruitment was the subject of Willie Morris’ 1983 book “The Courting of Marcus Dupree.” Although he almost became a Gold Eagle at USM, Dupree instead became a star on the national stage as a freshman running back at Oklahoma in 1982, running for 1,144 yards and 13 touchdowns. He played for the Los Angeles Rams in 1990-1991.
London said he was ecstatic to have Dupree on board.
“Everyone in my family lives and breathes Sooners football and Marcus Dupree is my favorite football player,” he said. “He’s playing the role of a ‘good cop’ in a corrupt department.”
Mills said the film will begin shooting soon.
“We have the film cast for the most part and we are still scouting some locations,” he said. “We will start filming in the fall and it should be ready for theaters in 2018.”