You’re driving down the street, and it’s suddenly blocked off. You notice these weird yellow signs with nonsensical letters or numbers. There’s unusual glow lighting up a neighborhood you can’t usually see from your house. What you might have here is a film company shooting in your town. It happens a lot, and you never know where they might pop up…until now.
The following is a semi-comprehensive list of films currently shooting, what they’re shooting, and where they’re shooting. We’ll be telling you where you might get to see the very famous, the kinda famous and (if all goes well) the soon-to-be famous. While we can’t list every single movie, television show, or student film in production, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what the heck is going on where all those people are buzzing about. Want to know where in the world are Matt Damon, Harrison Ford, Sylvester Stallone, Woody Harrelson, and Leonardo DiCaprio? Hit the jump for more.
DISCLAIMER — This is NOT an invitation to head on over and wave to the cameras. Truth be told, most film companies would prefer that the general public keep their distance. Not because they’re stuck up, but sometimes it’s not conducive to make a movie with a large crowd in attendance. The other truth (just between you and me?) is that movie making is one of the most boring processes to watch. For every minute or two of action, there’s an hour or more of crew-members moving equipment, adjusting lights, and asking for everyone to stay out of the way.
That being said, if you’re still game, and have nothing better to do, grab a lawn chair and a bucket of popcorn, and take in the making of a movie!
Big Movies, Big Names
Iron Man 3: Wilmington, N.C. – SPOILER ALERT** Iron Man does not die in The Avengers. Unless this is a prequel, but probably not. Shane Black (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) takes over directorial duties from Jon Favreau, who returns in front of the camera as Happy Hogan, along with Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle. Newcomers to the franchise include Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall.
42: Chattanooga, TN. – Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, Robin Hood, Payback) directs Harrison Ford, Chadwick Boseman, Christopher Meloni, John C. McGinley and Jon Bernthal in the life story of Jackie Robinson and his historic integration into the major leagues.
Out of the Furnace: Pittsburgh, PA. – Christian Bale and Casey Affleck star as two brothers trying to escape their Rust Belt roots. When one of them is murdered by a vicious gang, the other must decide whether to walk away or exact bloody vengeance. What do you think he opts for? Directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) the cast also includes Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker, Sam Shepard and Willem Dafoe.
Django Unchained: New Orleans, LA. – Quentin Tarantino’s pre-Civil War epic finds slave Jamie Foxx teaming up with bounty hunter Christoph Waltz to take down the South’s most wanted criminals and rescue the wife he lost to slave owner Leonardo DiCaprio. The supporting cast features some of Tarantino’s usual suspects—Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson as well as Kerry Washington, Gerald McRaney, Dennis Christopher, and RZA.
Bitter Pill: New York, N.Y. – Jude Law, Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum are the three sides of this love triangle in what director Steven Soderbergh has termed a “psychopharmacological thriller.” That’s a big pill to swallow.
The Tomb: New Orleans, LA. – Sylvester Stallone plays the world’s foremost authority on structural security. After being framed, he’s sent to a prison he designed himself where he faces his greatest challenge– sharing a cell with Arnold Schwarzenegger. That, and trying to escape and find out who put him in prison. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Jim Caviezel, Amy Ryan, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vinnie Jones and Sam Neill either try to keep him in or help him get out. Mikael Hafstrom (The Rite) directs.
Promised Land: Pittsburgh, PA. – Matt Damon and co-star John Krasinski co-wrote this screenplay about a pair of gas company salespeople (Damon and Frances McDormand) who travel to an economically depressed rural town to secure the drilling rights to their properties, and are faced with opposition by townsfolk Krasinski and Hal Holbrook. Once planned as Damon’s directorial debut, his schedule forced him to hand over the directorial reins to his Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant.
Ender’s Game: New Orleans, LA. – Writer/Director Gavin Hood’s big-screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s award-winning novel. Asa Butterfield (Hugo) plays the title role of Ender, a gifted child sent to Battle School in space to help save the world from a future alien invasion. He’s trained by Harrison Ford (when he’s not managing Jackie Robinson), and the film also stars Abigail Breslin, Sir Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld, Nonso Anozie and Viola Davis.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: New York, N.Y. – Ben Stiller directs and stars in this long in development remake of the 1947 Danny Kaye (anyone remember him, I hope?) comedy. Stiller portrays a milquetoast magazine proofreader who leads an adventure-filled fantasy life until a series of events force him to face reality head on. Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Patton Oswalt and Adam Scott may or may not exist in Mitty’s world.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters: Vancouver, BC. – Percy (Logan Lerman) and his pals (Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson) take on the other-worldy quest to traverse the Sea of Monsters and retrieve the legendary Golden Fleece. Nathan Fillion, Missi Pyle, Anthony Head and Yvette Nicole Brown join the cast.
The Lone Ranger: Albuquerque, N.M. – “A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty…” well, you know the rest. Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp return us to those thrilling days of yesteryear with the help of director Gore Verbinski. The Lone Ranger rides again!
A Little Smaller, But More Big Names
Grown Ups 2: Cape Cod, MA. – Starring everyone who was in the first Grown Ups, and Taylor Lautner. Directed (again) by Dennis Dugan.
You Are Here: Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, N.C. –How is Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner spending his summer vacation? By directing Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis as two childhood friends who take a road trip so that one of them can claim a sizable inheritance from his father’s estate. Somewhere along the road, they meet up with Amy Poehler.
Stand Up Guys: Los Angeles, CA. – Al Pacino and Christopher Walken are a pair of con men who get the old gang together for one last hurrah. Alan Arkin joins the fun under the direction of Fisher Stevens.
The End of the World: New Orleans, LA. – It started out as a funny little short film called Jay and Seth vs. the Apocalypse, with Jay Baruchel and Seth Rogen portraying…Jay Baruchel and Seth Rogan, holed up in an apartment as the world literally went to hell around them. For this big screen incarnation, they’ve changed the locale to James Franco’s house and have added a lot more of their celebrity friends to wait it out with them. Jonah Hill, James Franco, Rihanna, Emma Watson, Jason Segel, Danny McBride, David Krumholtz, Mindy Kaling, Martin Starr and Craig Robinson help make it the party to end all parties. Rogan and Evan Goldberg direct.
Muhammed Ali’s Greatest Fight: Washington, D.C. – And in this corner…the United States Government! Stephen Frears directs this HBO production, which chronicles the battle between the champ (seen in archival footage) and the courts due to his refusal to serve in the armed forces. Christopher Plummer, Danny Glover, Frank Langella, Benjamin Walker, Barry Levinson, Bob Balaban and Ed Begley Jr. also star.
Kill Your Darlings: New York, N.Y. – The beat goes on… Daniel Radcliffe, Ben Foster and Jack Huston portray literary greats Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. The film follows their friendship and how it is affected by the murder of Burroughs’ friend, David Kammerer (played by Michael C. Hall). With David Cross, John Cullum, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kyra Sedgewick and David Rasche.
Beautiful Creatures: New Orleans, LA. – The screen adaptation of the first book in another popular young adult fantasy series. A local teenager (Alice Englert) and a newcomer (Jack O’Connell) to a small southern town are drawn to each other and uncover secrets about their families. Richard LaGravenese (P.S. I Love You) directs from his screenplay adaptation. The young leads are surrounded by the talents of Emmy Rossum, Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson and Viola Davis.
Identity Thief: Atlanta, GA. – Director Seth Gordon re-teams with his Horrible Bosses star Jason Bateman as the hapless victim of Melissa McCarthy, who steals his identity. The cast also boasts Jon Favreau, John Cho, Amanda Peet and Morris Chestnut.
Although the majority of scripted series have gone on hiatus for the summer, there are still a few in production. Boardwalk Empire, Royal Pains, White Collar, and Louie are all shooting in New York City, the Showtime series Weeds and Californication are being shot in the Los Angeles area, and Breaking Bad production is on location in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Is that it? Heck no, there are plenty of other films here and there, and we’ll get as many as we can as we update the list. If there’s a big movie shooting in your town that we missed, drop us a note in the comments and we’ll make sure to include it on the next go-round.