Preliminary filming for the made-in-Boston flick "The Zookeeper" starring Kevin James and Rosario Dawson kicked off Monday, July 20 at the park's elaborate mini-zoo set near the Giraffe Entrance of the Franklin Park Zoo located at 1 Franklin Park Rd. Primary filming with the cast is slotted for mid August.
Slotted to film during regular park hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the next few weeks, "The Zookeeper" set resembled a Hollywood-style movie lot swarming with production staff on golf carts and lighting rigs peering behind off-limits structures built for filming purposes only.
In "The Zookeeper," James 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.
John Linehan, president and CEO of Zoo New England admits in a statement here that they decided to postpone the opening of its new, free-flight budgie aviary in order to accommodate "The Zookeeper" filming.
“All of the improvements we’ve made to Franklin Park Zoo in the past few years have drawn the attention of people and businesses throughout New England, and now Hollywood as well," he says here, unveiling a new map of the zoo with the film set highlighted in purple (see below). "The selection of Massachusetts as a place for this movie filming is going to be a huge economic stimulus for the state, which is one of the biggest reasons we made this opportunity a priority."
Linehan continues, "Not only will it give Franklin Park Zoo a national reputation, but it will have a tremendous impact in terms of job creation in the Boston area as well as enhance our contribution to the very important tourism industry.”
Production crews plan to shell out major money to spruce up the Franklin Park Zoo, with renovations and landscaping scheduled to benefit the non-profit zoo for an extended period even after the production is done.
Click here for the latest on "The Zookeeper."