By: Dana Barbuto | The Patriot Ledger | September 21, 2022
SCITUATE – Turner Road was a flurry of activity this week, with crews setting up lights, cameras, monitors, boom mics, background screens and other equipment near Sand Hills Beach to shoot scenes for a feature film with the working title “Untitled Novelist Project.”
The movie stars Jeffrey Wright as a struggling novelist finding sudden success while visiting his sick mother in Boston. Wright co-starred opposite Daniel Craig in the James Bond movies, playing reliable CIA agent Felix Leiter. Earlier this year, Wright was a standout in “The Batman” as Commissioner Gordon. Sterling K. Brown and Tracee Ellis Ross are said to be co-stars. The movie is being produced by T-Street Productions, according to a filming notice on Fort Point Boston.
On site in Scituate, a crew member told a Patriot Ledger photographer that filming in town has been underway for a week at three locations in town, including Peggotty Beach. Shooting was scheduled to wrap Wednesday and the production returns to Boston. So far, other filming locations have been at the corner of Congress and A streets in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston, outside the Brookline Booksmith on Harvard Street and in West Roxbury.
“Untitled Novelist Project” is based on the novel “Erasure” by Percival Everett. It marks the feature-film debut for writer-director Cord Jefferson, an Emmy winner for penning the limited series “Watchmen.” Jefferson also wrote episodes for the NBC sitcom “The Good Place”; the hit HBO series “Succession”; and the Netflix comedy “Master of None.”
This is the second movie to shoot in Scituate since May, when the Tommy Lee Jones crime drama “Finestkind” filmed scenes at a seaside home on Edward Foster Road. That flick will debut on Paramount+ later this year. Cameras also rolled in Scituate at the high school for the Netflix teen mystery series “The Society.” And, back in 1986, Hollywood took over Front Street to shoot a scene for “The Witches of Eastwick” at the now-shuttered Quarter Deck antique shop, renamed the Yapping Fox for the film.
Since tax credits were signed into law in 2005 and made permanent in 2021, film and television production in the region has steadily increased with bigger-budget productions, such as the superhero blockbusters “Black Panther 2” and “Madame Web” and star-studded Oscar nominees in “Little Women,” “Don’t Look Up” and “Knives Out.”
The state is also starting to benefit from repeat customers. HBO filmed scenes in Framingham and Brookline for Season 2 of its series “Julia,” about culinary icon Julia Child. After shooting two seasons of the dark comedy “Kevin Can F*** Himself” in Braintree, Brockton, Hingham and Quincy, the AMC network is rolling its cameras again in the region for another prestige drama series, “Invitation to a Bonfire,” a psychological thriller set in the 1930s at an all-girls boarding school in New Jersey. The cast includes Tatiana Maslany (the Boston Marathon bombing drama “Stronger”), Pilou Asbæk (“Game of Thrones”) and Ngozi Anyanwu (“Deuce”).
Netflix is keeping the local film industry busy with a number of projects, shooting Mark Wahlberg’s “Spenser Confidential” in Weymouth; the family-friendly adventure “The Sleepover” in Hanover; the dark satire “I Care a Lot” in Braintree; and the upcoming crime series “12 Scars,” with Jason Bateman. Production for Halle Berry’s “The Mothership” also took place in southeastern Massachusetts and is scheduled for a 2023 release.
Another upcoming film project is “The Collaboration,” about the complicated friendship between artists Andy Warhol (Paul Bettany) and Jean-Michel Basquiat (Jeremy Pope). It will shoot at Marina Studios on Victory Road in Quincy. Coming this Christmas is the Whitney Houston biopic “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” starring Naomi Ackie (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”). Scenes for that one were also shot at Marina Studios.
The Christmas-themed musical “Spirited,” shot at South Shore Plaza last summer, stars Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell. It will premiere on Apple TV+ in December.
Shooting for “Boston Strangler,” starring Kingston’s Chris Cooper and Keira Knightley as Milton journalist Loretta McLaughlin, took place at the former Foster Elementary School in Braintree. Ben Affleck’s “The Tender Bar” also shot in Braintree and can be streamed on Amazon Prime.
Last year, director Adam McKay partially filmed his Oscar-nominated satire “Don’t Look Up” at the Hangout in Weymouth, including an Ariana Grande concert scene. Cohasset’s sprawling Oaks Estate was the backdrop for scenes in “Confess, Fletch,” which was released last Friday and will stream Oct. 28 on Showtime.
The South Shore has also provided locations for other films, such as “The Equalizer,” “The Judge,” “The Way Way Back,” “Thoroughbreds,” “Ted 2,” “The Finest Hours,” “Black Mass,” “Free Guy,” “Patriots Day,” “Godmothered” and Paul Feig’s all-female reboot of “Ghostbusters.”