A World War II naval drama scripted by and starring actor Tom Hanks will film in Baton Rouge in early 2018.

"Greyhound," a production by FilmNation Entertainment, will employ about 250 people on the motion picture and has a total budget of $50.3 million. Estimated spending in Louisiana is $29.5 million, including $7.6 million in payroll, Louisiana Economic Development said.

Pre-production began Monday, and filming aboard the USS Kidd and at other Baton Rouge locations is expected to start in March. Filming in Louisiana is estimated at 161 days.

The movie marks a return to Louisiana for the two-time Academy Award-winning actor, who produced and narrates the signature Beyond All Boundaries attraction at the World War II Museum in New Orleans and has been a champion for the facility since it opened 17 years ago.

Greyhound is the first significant film project to apply for an incentive that Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law last summer. Enhancements to a previously revised Louisiana film incentive program included a provision that provides a 5 percent tax credit on Louisiana expenditures for motion pictures filmed outside of the New Orleans area. 

“We are glad to see FilmNation take advantage of our new initiative to promote film production in all regions of Louisiana," Edwards said. "We also welcome Tom Hanks back to Louisiana for this project."

Hanks will star as the troubled commander of a Navy destroyer, the USS Greyhound, soon after the United States entered World War II. The story takes place as the Greyhound is escorting a military convoy across the Atlantic Ocean in 1942, when the shipping lanes between America and its European allies were imperiled by German submarines. Hanks adapted the script from the novel “The Good Shepherd,” published in 1955 by C.S. Forester.

Other cast members have not been announced. The film will be directed by Academy Award-winner Aaron Schneider and produced by Gary Goetzman, Hanks’ partner in the Playtone production company.

“With millions to be spent in our state for this Celtic Studios-based production, local crew and vendors will benefit from having this production filming here in our capital city,” Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said. “We look forward to having our beloved USS Kidd on the big screen in this homage to a very important time in our American history. This production is the start of what we anticipate to be a very busy year for filming in Baton Rouge, thanks to the new state incentive, our own local rebate and experienced film community.”

Overall, six other projects currently are in pre-production and scheduled to shoot in early 2018, and four productions are filming through the end of 2017.

FilmNation Entertainment is the independent film company behind Academy Award-winning "Arrival" and box office hit "The Big Sick."