Chatham will soon take center stage as both the location and title of an upcoming romantic comedy starring Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper and Anne Archer.
Filming is scheduled to start on March 5 in Chatham and Provincetown for ''Chatham,'' based on the novel, ''Cap'n Eri'' by the early 20th Century Chatham author, Joseph Lincoln. Also starring in the film are Martin Landau and Charles Durning, according to screenwriter and director Daniel Adams of West Barnstable.
Adams is hooking up with producer Michael Mailer of New York City for the film that is budgeted for around $3 million, according to Mailer.
It will be the fourth film Adams has directed, and his second collaboration with Mailer, whom he met while both were at Harvard University in the 1980s. Adams' first Cape Cod-based movie, ''The Mouse,'' was shot in 1996.
The project will mean an infusion of off-season business to Chatham, since most of the cast and crew will be staying in town for five weeks of filming.
''It couldn't come at a better time,'' said Danielle Jeanloz, executive director of the Chatham Chamber of Commerce. ''Not only is the filming good (for business) while it's going on, but once it gets out, it will allow us to market the town.''
''Chatham'' is set in the early 1900s and revolves around three retired bachelor sea captains, Reynolds, Hopper and Landau, who grow tired of each other's cooking and decide to advertise for a bride for one of them. They agree that once one is married, the other two will live on in the house as boarders.
Hopper's character, ''Captain Jerry'' is the loser in a flip of a coin, and has to marry Archer's character, a Nantucket woman who answers the ad. He laments his luck, telling his friends that marriage ''ain't pretty,'' Adams said.
But, of course, as romantic comedies go, everyone underestimates the power of love, and that's about as far as Adams is willing to go in revealing the plot.
Mailer, the son of author Norman Mailer of Provincetown, grew up on Cape Cod and said he was thrilled to be shooting a film here.
''I found (the script) incredibly charming and historically vibrant,'' he said Monday from his office in New York City.
Also cast in the film are two young actors, Christie Cashman of Boston, and Jason Alan Smith. Cashman plays Durning's granddaughter and Smith plays her boyfriend.
Smith is also featured in the film, ''Being Michael Madsen,'' which opens later this year. He is being touted in Hollywood as ''the next Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise,'' according to Adams, who has some experience working with actors who later became mega-stars. Sandra Bullock starred in his film, ''A Fool and His Money,'' in 1989, when she was still relatively unknown. The film was also an Adams-Mailer endeavor.
Much of the outdoor filming for ''Chatham'' will be done in town, including the inner and outer harbor area. A rescue scene will be shot in Provincetown at the former Old Harbor Lifesaving Station.
The production office can be reached at (774) 521-1075 for more information.