Massachusetts stars will be coming to the big screen in a big way for the next few weeks. Hitting theaters nationwide today is the romantic comedy, The Fiver-Year Engagement, starring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt. The film follows the story of a couple who must delay their wedding repeatedly after various life and family struggles get in their way. The film was also co-written by Segel, who created Blunt’s role specifically for her. Blunt and Segel are longtime friends.
The movie also costars Cambridge’s own Mindy Kaling, most known for her work on “The Office,” where she costars with John Krasinski, who also happens to be married to Emily Blunt, Krasinski himself is a Newton native.
Opening on May 4th, the much anticipated super hero adventure, The Avengers, will hit the big screen, costarring Robert Downey Jr., as Iron Man, Mark Ruffalo, as the Hulk, Chris Hemsworth, as Thor, Scarlett Johansson, as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner, as Hawkeye, and Boston’s own Chris Evans as Captain America. The handsome hunk was last seen sharing screen time with Anna Faris in the romantic comedy, What’s Your Number?, which was filmed entirely in Boston and surrounding areas in the summer of 2010. We’ll see him next in a couple of rather chilly films; The Iceman, and Snowpiercer, both thrillers set to be released sometime in 2013.
And so, another year has passed in Hollywood East, and with it, a ton of projects, developments, and other news items that captured our interest throughout 2011. Let’s take a look back at what made headlines in Hollywood East over the past year.
A bevy of big budget productions pranced their way through the Bay State, bringing with it a steady stream of big name stars. I Don’t Know How She Does It brought Sarah Jessica Parker, Christina Hendricks, and “Cheers” alum, Kelsey Grammar. Ted brought Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, and Seth MacFarlane. Here Comes the Boom brought Kevin James, Salma Hayek, and Henry Winkler. I Hate You Dad brought Adam Sandler, Adam Samberg, and Leighton Meester. And finally, R.I.P.D. brought Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, and Kurt Russell.
We were excited to see all the films that debuted this year that filmed in Boston in whole or in part in the past year or two. Films like The Zookeeper, Moneyball, I Don’t Know How She Does It, and What’s Your Number showed movie-goers across the country why the Bay State makes such a beautiful backdrop for major motion pictures.
There were also updates on the state of the MA film tax credits, with some changes taking place. The Office of Travel and Tourism took over the responsibilities previously looked after by the Massachusetts Film Office, with Lisa Strout taking over for Nick Paleologos.
In more disappointing news, it seems the Plymouth Rock Studios project has been put on permanent hold.
Culled from our own backyard, we spoke to local stars of film, TV, and music. Brighton-based band Gentlemen Hall made us lend an ear and a cheer as we watched these talented youngsters make their live national television debut on the Billboard Music Awards.
We were lucky enough to get invited to a sneak peak of the Footloose remake, and got to talk to home-grown star, Kenny Wormald on how he brought a little bit of Boston to the new version of this 80s cult classic.
Reality TV continues to make headlines year after year. In 2011, we watched with excitement the adventures the infamous “Deathwish Movers” went through each week, and cheered on local stars on “Top Chef: Desserts”, “Chopped”, and the “Expedition Impossible” who did New England proud. The genre even inspired the hilarious web-series, “Real Housewives of South Boston”, which we sincerely hope to see more of in 2012!
The culinary world even captured our attention, with it’s Hollywood East Connections. Our favorite homeboy, Mark Wahlberg, surprised us all by venturing into the culinary world, opening the aptly named Wahlburgers in Hingham. “Hell’s Kitchen” star, Jason Santos, opened Blue Inc., and “Top Chef; All Stars” contestant, Tiffany Faison, opened the ever so cutely named BBQ spot, Sweet Cheeks.
These are just a few of the fabulous and fascinating stories that kept us connected in Hollywood East this year. Here’s hoping 2012 brings with it more excitement in TV, movies, and music across the New England states!
The answer to the question is 9/30/11. That’s the day when the Boston-filmed flick What’s Your Number? comes to theaters. After initially being slated for release this past April, studios reconsidered their release date, and pushed it back to an early fall debut. The movie, which filmed in Boston from May through July of last year (2010), stars Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Andy Samberg, and Joel McHale.
The trailer, which was just released earlier this month, highlights many of the Boston locales that were used as backdrops for the romantic comedy based on the book of the same name by Karyn Bosnak. Even in their brief flashes, those familiar with Boston will recognize the North End, Boston Harbor, Post Office Square Park, Boylston Street, Beacon Hill, the Omni Parker Hotel, and the Boston Public Library.
In addition to taking advantage of the Massachusetts tax credits, What’s Your Number? also makes no qualms about the fact it shot in Boston, unlike prior films like The Women and Bride Wars, which each pretended Boston was New York city for those scenes that they shot in Beantown. What’s Your Number? fully embraced its backdrop, and the movie will display the city in its fully glory, including the hundreds of local people that were used as extras.
Andy Samberg, one of the film’s costars, has been making the rounds lately with the release of his musical comedy album as part of the Lonely Island trio, including co-starring in a now-viral music video with Connecticut born Michael Bolton on “Saturday Night Live”, will be returning to the Boston area soon to film I Hate You Dad with Adam Sandler and Leighton Meester. The film has already held casting calls for extras in anticipation of filming around Boston and the Cape next month.
Check out the trailer for What’s Your Number? here:
Movie-making is returning to the Bay State. After a rather jam-packed 2009 which saw numerous major motion pictures filming in and around the Boston area, Beantown has not seen camera crews and production trucks since What’s Your Number with Anna Faris packed up in early July of last year.
Earlier this month, Columbia Pictures announced they had settled on a location for their new movie, Here Comes the Boom starring Kevin James, Salma Hayek, and Joe Rogan. The movie will begin shooting this spring, and will take place in only 20 days, reaching completion by June. The film will be shot almost entirely within the old Quincy High School building.
The story will follow James’s character, who plays a high school teacher by day, pro fighter by night in order to save the school’s music program.
Boston Casting has already held 2 open calls for both experienced MMA fighters, referees, and announcers, and actors that look like they can play high school-aged teens, for both principal and extra roles. More casting calls will be held as the film moves closer to actual production.
The vacant school building, which is set to be demolished after filming is completed this summer, will earn the city $80,000 in rental fees from the production company.
James is not stranger to filming here–in 2008, he filmed Paul Blart: Mall Cop at the Burlington Mall and parts of West Roxbury, and in 2009 he spent his entire summer here between The Zookeeper and Grown Ups. The Zookeeper is set to be released on July 8th of this year, and was directed by Frank Coraci, who will also direct Here Comes the Boom, and also costarred Joe Rogan.
2010 has been a big year in Hollywood East, with many made in Massachusetts films coming to the big-screen with much fanfare and success, as other future TV and film projects went to work in the Bay State, ensuring more New England flavor will be infused into Tinseltown’s productions for years to come. We took a look back at some of the major stories that you wanted to know about.
The Company Men, starring Ben Affleck, debuted at the Coolidge Corner Theater in February as part of the Sundance Film Festival. Writer/director John Wells sat down and talked to us about his film, which also co-starred Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, and Massachusetts native Chris Cooper, as a group of executives who were laid off in a corporate down-sizing. The movie had filmed in Boston and surrounding suburbs in late spring and early summer 2009.
Also in February, we got an update on the Plymouth Rock Studios, where we found out that the studio had been downsizing and moving ahead with financing efforts in an attempt to get the construction of the project successfully off the ground. Not much else has been heard from the studio since then.
In March, the Massachusetts state legislature made several attempts to cap the successful film tax credit program, putting various versions of the bill with amendments to vote, before finally laying it to rest in favor of the notion that capping the bill would limit film-making in the state, negatively affecting potential job creation that occurs as a result of these films.
In May, filming began of the romantic comedy, What’s You’re Number, starring Anna Faris and Chris Evans. Numerous casting calls were held in advance of production, calling for both union and non-union extras that were needed to fill the various wedding and crowd scenes in the film. Filming continued throughout Boston’s neighborhoods, including the North End, Back Bay, Financial District, and waterfront from mid-May to mid-July.
This summer and fall, we saw the first of a number of made in Massachusetts flicks get released, including Furry Vengeance, Knight and Day, Grown Ups, and The Social Network. Many of these films were shot in the area during the spring and summer of 2009.
In July, we spoke to Christopher Murphy, Film and TV Development Executive at MyTV New England, who formally announced a new distribution program that would help bring locally made TV shows and films to broadcast TV through branded entertainment and budgeting made in-line with already acquired funds. This new type of programming has already helped bring viewers around New England Debra Crosby’s Talent Quest TV show, and a new independent film series that will be debuting in February.
In September, Ben Affleck’s second directorial endeavor, The Town, debuted in theaters, co-starring Blake Lively and Chris Cooper. Affleck, who also starred in the movie, filmed the movie throughout Boston and Charlestown in the summer of 2009. The film is based on the book of the same name, and is set in Charlestown.
In October, the state of Connecticut announced formal plans to break ground on a $50 million studio sound stage that will also include a hotel, restaurant and shopping complex, and will create as many as 500 union construction jobs over the next year.
Earlier this month, The Fighter debuted at theaters, instantly garnering award-season buzz, starting out with 6 Golden Globe nominations. Starring Dorchester’s Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, the real-life story of fighter Mickey Ward was filmed in the greater Boston area in the late spring and early summer of 2009, and will continue to be a favorite as Oscar season draws nearer.
This month also marked the end of Nick Paleologos’s tenure as executive director of the Massachusetts Film Office, as a recent bill passed in August that reorganized the duties of the office, and a new agency called the Massachusetts Marketing Partnership was created which will be responsible for the development and promotion of film and sports events in Massachusetts from 2011 onward.
Overall, 2010 marked a great year for Massachusetts, and Hollywood East in general, and we look forward to bringing you all the excitement to come in 2011!
Thursday evening, Chronicle’s Anthony Everett and NewsCenter Five’s JC Monahan were on hand to host Channel 5’s live broadcast of the annual Boston Common tree lighting ceremony, which featured performances by the Radio City Rockettes, 2006 “American Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee, Grammy-winning R&B singer Patti Austin, a capella group Five O’Clock Shadow, the Boston Arts Academy, and the Boston Pops Gospel Choir, with a special appearance by Pops conductor Keith Lockhart.
Though the temperature was a brisk 38 degrees, one less than the number of years Boston has been holding its annual tree lighting ceremony on Boston Common, people still turned out in the hundreds to see the 50-foot white spruce decked out for the holidays. Attendees were also treated to goodies at the Boston Common Tree Lighting Sampling Village, where tents and vans handed out free samples of Dunkin Donuts hot chocolate, Nantucket Nectars juices, Hood egg nog, and more.
The tree was donated by Gary and Roseann Meisner of North Alton, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, and selected by Ross Pentz of the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources. Nova Scotia sends a tree to Boston each year as a thank-you for the help the city provided after the explosion of a munitions ship in Halifax Harbor on December 6, 1917.
McPhee performed two songs off of her recently released third studio album, the holiday-themed Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You, which was released in October. The singer first appeared on season 5 of “American Idol,” placing runner-up to winner Taylor Hicks. She’s also tried her hand at acting, making her debut in 2008′s The House Bunny, with What’s Your Number star, Anna Faris.
Check out video of Katharine McPhee performing a holiday favorite below!
Comic book junkies and action movie fans across the internet were all a flutter this past week with the release of new photos from the set of the new Captain America: The First Avenger movie, starring Chris Evans. The pics showed the young star with a new blonde hair style, and visibly bulked up compared to his appearance in previous movies, sporting a tight white T-shirt and khaki pants.
Though he is no stranger to action films, as his previous work includes The Fantastic Four, he will also be starring in the upcoming The Avengers. Captain America will be the first time he has been in the solitary starring role.
Born in Boston, the 29 year old star went back to his roots recently, co-starring in the made in Massachusetts flick, What’s Your Number, with Anna Faris. The romantic comedy, which is set to be released sometime next year, follows the story of a woman who goes back through all of her previous boyfriends in hopes of finding her soul mate. Directed by Mark Mylod, the film shot in locations all around the Hub from mid May to mid July of this year, including Boylston Street, Boston Harbor, Arlington Church, and Post Office Square Park.
Evans’ current film is shooting in the UK, with the movie expected to be released sometime late next year.
★ “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” receives its first and only Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series category, while Andover, MA’s Leno is left out of the running and posts its lowest ratings since its first season on the air in 1992.
★ Currently covered in a slew of allegations of abuse, Mel Gibson sells his Connecticut estate for $24 million.
★ Naked shots from the set of What’s Your Number, currently filming in Boston, are of a body double and not Anna Faris.
★ Lexington, Massachusett’s native, and former SNL star, Rachel Dratch is pregnant.
★ Newton’s John Krasinski weds The Young Victoria actress Emily Blunt at George Clooney’s place in Italy.
★ Movie pioneer Douglas Trumbull plans sci-fi film to help jump-start the western Massachusets side of state in movie-production.
★ Originally of Concord, Massachusetts, Steve Carrell’s voice stars in the new animated film, Despicable Me.
Months ago we flirted with the idea of being casted in the feature film What’s Your Number? with the hilarious Anna Faris and New England’s own Chris Evans. The feature that has certainly been one of this summer’s flings with casting notices from C.P Casting. The talented cast and crew have been dancing around Beantown filming in the desirable North End, the swanky street of Newbury, the Park Garden, even up on the sandy beaches of Gloucester and it doesn’t look like their wrapping up shooting any time soon.
And now, ladies, it’s your chance to be part of the hip entourage and land an awesome summer job by being a body double for the beautiful Miss Faris in What’s Your Number? The only catch to this gig is that you must be a pretty good basketball player and under 5’5 but no shorter then 5’3. Hair color doesn’t matter but you have to be approximately 110lbs, a 34C, white, athletic, slim, and between the age of 22-36. Your face will not be on screen but you will be dribbling with both hands, between your legs, behind your back and tricks are encouraged. You can’t be a current player in college because it will make you ineligible for playing. If this sounds like the perfect fling for you, email a photo and details of your B-Ball skills to Matt over at C.P Casting, [email protected] The scene is slated to shoot on July 13th in Boston. Oh, and this is a well paid job to boot.
C.P Casting is also seeking backround extras who have not worked on the flick yet. You must be available Friday, July 9th through Sunday July 11th. The work will take place in Beantown and calls for two all-nighters, so bring coffee. Email a photo including your resume and stats over to C.P Casting at [email protected] To receive these casting notices from C.P go to the site and sign up. Don’t forget to check out our Career Scene page where we have all the links to help you find your next job.
North End residents are about to find their neighborhood to be the backdrop of yet another new film. The film crew for What’s Your Number?, starring Anna Faris and Chris Evans, is preparing to hit the streets of Boston’s Little Italy, and have put the local residents on notice. On May 11, flyers were distributed amongst the apartments and local businesses lining the narrow streets outlining the plan for shooting scenes.
Starting Monday, May 24th, through Friday, May 28th, productions crews, including trailers and equipment will be in the area, while actual camera work will only be taking place on Wednesday, May 26th and Thursday, May 27th from about 10 AM to 2 AM. In order to accommodate filming, there will be limited parking and detours around Salem Street, Cooper Street, Prince Street, North Margin Street, Parmenter Street, Cross Street, and Bartlett Place.
Advance location crews are doing everything they can to reassure residents that their daily routines will not be impacted too significantly. Flyer recipients were even provided with a phone number to call with questions in regards to Number Productions Inc.’s work, saying “ North End is a beautiful area for the city, and we are privileged to have the opportunity to film in your neighborhood.”
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