Lions, tigers and bears in Boston? Try Dorchester and Stoneham.
An inside source confirms that the upcoming made-in-Massachusetts flick "The Zookeeper," starring Kevin James and Rosario Dawson, will film the majority of its scenes at Franklin Park Zoo located at 1 Franklin Park Rd. and the Stone Zoo in Stoneham.
The source, adding that production is scheduled to kick off in July, confirms that there will be specific areas of the zoo that will be renovated, paid for by a donation made by the production company.
James, currently in Essex filming scenes with Adam Sandler and crew for the ultimate buddy flick "Grown Ups," will play the title role in the film produced by Sandler's Happy Madison Productions. In "The Zookeeper," he plays a zoo caretaker who consults with the animals in an attempt to learn their methods of dating and mating to help him win back the woman of his dreams.
Production crews plan to shell out major money to spruce up the Franklin Park Zoo, with renovations and landscaping slotted to benefit the non-profit zoo for extended period even after the production is done.
Loaded Gun Boston reader Craig Rabe says "he noticed that the production crew for 'The Zookeeper' has taken over a large part of the middle of the zoo to create a set." Rabe confirmed with a zoo official that designers "are spending at least the next six weeks building the set," with design beginning in late May.
Click here for the latest on "The Zookeeper."