Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hollywood in the Hub filming heats up ... again

With the on-and-off-again SAG strike in limbo, Hollywood is planning a repeat visit to the Boston area in the next few months. There are several made-in-Boston flicks and TV productions in the works … with a few in the wings ready to strike once the SAG negotiations are resolved.

Here’s the latest:

*Black Mass project
Jim Sheridan, the acclaimed Irish filmmaker of "My Left Foot" and "In the Name of the Father," plans to film the quintessential Whitey Bulger flick based on the book "Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob." Filming is slotted for April.

*Code of Silence
A film slotted to begin filming in the Spring from "Townies" writer/director Mike O'Dea, "Code of Silence" follows boxer Mickey Callaghan with an extraordinary family legacy ... his father John Callaghan is a feared and ruthless Winter Hill crime boss.

*Grown Ups
Former “SNL” cohorts including Adam Sandler, David Spade and Rob Schneider as well as “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” funnyman Kevin James are slotted for a 66-day film shoot beginning in May centering around a group of guys who return to their hometown. Think a “Big Chill”-style comedy … but with a lot of laughs. The made-in-Boston flick from Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions is tentatively called "Grown Ups." So far, film scouts for the flick have scoped out Franklin Park Zoo and locations in Wellesley, Wareham and Southborough. Also, nearby Essex entered into an agreement on Monday, March 16 to host Sandler and crew at the town’s Centennial Grove this summer.

*How Do You Know?
James L. Brooks returns to the romantic genre with a comedy starring an unlikely trio of Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson. Rudd will play the part of a businessman vying for Witherspoon's affections, while Wilson is slated for the role of a professional baseball pitcher out to steal her heart. *Filming moved to Washington D.C.

*Serial Buddies

Kevin Undergaro, a friend and business partner of celeb journalist and Emerson alum Maria Menounos, plans to film this so-called comedy following bosom buddies who happen to be serial killers. Filming in Boston kicks off in June.

*The Company Men
Affleck, alongside Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones, plays a corporate bigwig whose six-figure salary is suddenly cut after he gets a pink slip. Filming is slotted for April, with scenes planned for First Church, 10 Putnam St. in Roxbury on Monday, April 13 and Tuesday, April 14.

*The Town
An adaptation of the Charlestown-based blue-collar heist novel by Chuck Hogan, "The Town" will feature Ben Affleck who has signed on to write, star and direct in the film following a bizarre love triangle involving a crook, a female bank teller and a FBI agent. Filming kicks off in August.

*Untitled John Shepherd Project
Starring Amy Smart in the main role, the series with a working title called the "Untitled John Scott Shepherd Project" follows a Boston-based district attorney destined to become the first female president. The ABC TV pilot, formerly known as "I, Claudia" and "See Kate Run," begins filming in Boston on Thursday, March 19. Crews are filming at the State House for two weekends starting on Friday, March 20 and Doyle's in Jamaica Plain.
--Photo of Reese Witherspoon in "Just Like Heaven" courtesy DreamWorks SKG

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