What’s Shooting in T.O.
(March 10, 2020 – Toronto, ON) Although we’re far from reaching the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, in some areas life goes on almost uninterrupted and is functioning well by adhering tightly to all the practices and rules that keep people safe. Even a quick look at what’s shooting now in Toronto indicates that film and television production is doing well.
Following are the shows and feature films currently in production or starting production soon.
First up is 8 Bit Christmas. Directed by Michael Dowse, the feature is based on the debut novel by Kevin Jakubowski who adapted his book for the screenplay. It’s set in Chicago in the 1980s. Basic plot: a young boy (Winslow Fegley) is on a quest to get the best video game system for Christmas. It’s being produced by New Line for HBO Max and it’s described a “humorous and heartfelt look back at the adventures of childhood.” Costars include Neil Patrick Harris, June Diane Raphael and Steve Zahn. The shoot began in mid-February and is scheduled tp wrap on May 28.
Acts of Crime is a drama series pilot that stars newcomer Candace Grace. Sam Esmail is co-producing and directing. Series regulars are Molly Price, Peter Mark Kendall and newcomer Josiah Cross. It was scheduled to start production this week and wrap on April 30.
Season 3 of the Netflix series Chroma began shooting in early February and production continues until August 17. The producer is Steve Wakefield and the director is Jeff King.
We’re a little sketchy on this next production but we’re making some educated guesses. There’s a feature film titled Good Sam. It’s on Netflix and costars Tiya Sircar, Chad Connell and Marco Grazzini. Set in New York the plot centres on a curious reporter who finds love while pursuing the story of a mysterious figure who’s leaving bags of cash for strangers all around city. In Toronto, the pilot for a series titled Good Sam got underway in February and should have wrapped by now. We’re assuming the series pilot is based on the movie…but we know we should never assume anything.
In the Dark, the U.S. series is shooting Season 3. The 13-episode shoot began in early November last year and continues until the middle of May 2021.
All these productions are great and employ a lot of Canadians behind the cameras and a lot of Canadians in smaller roles in front of the cameras as well. Some are bigger than others, some are more interesting than others and one that’s sure to cause some excitement is the Jack Reacher series reboot, starring Alan Ritchson. Tom Cruise, a very fit and anything but bulky actor, played the titular role in the films Jack Reacher and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, both made for Paramount. For the series the lead will look a lot more like the character described in the books as a tall and hulking figure. Ritchson is reported to be 6’4” and weigh 235 pounds. This series is based on the first Reacher novel titled “The Killing Floor,” which was set in the state of Georgia. The shoot schedule is set to begin on April 14 and run until the end of July. By the way, Ritchson also stars as Hawk/Hank Hill in the DC Universe’s Titans series, which is also shooting in Ontario, and should wrap on March 31.
Some quick takes: Ten episodes of season 2 of Locke and Key began shooting in Toronto last September and will wrap at the end of this month. Thirteen episodes of season 2 of Magnesium began shooting at the end of January and will continue shooting until the middle of June. Eight episodes of season 2 of See began in the middle of October 2020 and should wrap June 30, 2021.
The Academy-Award-winning Guillermo Del Toro and J. Miles Dale (for The Shape of Water) have joined forces again for the feature Nightmare Alley. The thriller has an all-star cast including Cate Blanchett, David Strathairn, Bradley Cooper, Paul Anderson, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, Toni Collette, Mary Steenburgen and Willem Dafoe. Lots of Canadians too including Tim Post, David Hewlett, actor and producer Danny Waugh and more. It’s supposed to be released this December. Production began in September of last year and should wrap at the end of April.
Some titles and wrap dates: Slumberland is a feature bound for streaming. Directed by Francis Lawrence it’s scheduled to wrap May 31, 2021. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is a 10-episode series that will follow Captain Pike, Spock and Number One. It should wrap September 24. Various directors are helming various episodes. Station Eleven is a 10-episode sci-fi series based on the 2014 novel by Emily St. John Mandel. Timing is everything, the basic plot is set in the aftermath of a flu pandemic that wipes out the majority of the world’s population. Shooting in Mississauga for HBO Max, the last day of production is August 2. Season 3 of The Boys, 8 episodes should wrap August 32. Season 6 of The Expanse, 6 episodes began production on January 21 and should be over by April 26. Ten episodes of season 7 of The Good Witch began in October of last year and should come to a close at the end of this month, March 26. There is great anticipation among fans of The Handmaid’s Tale. Season 4, 10 episodes produced by Kim Todd is scheduled to wrap April 29.
The Hot Zone – Year Two is a 6-episode mini-series. Wrap date is May 21. VICAP is a proposed series with Paula Devonshire producing and Maja Vrvilo directing. We assume it’s a cop drama, the twist being VICAP stands for Violent Criminal Apprehension Program. Wrap date April 30. What We Do in the Shadows began shooting Season 3 in January. The 10-episode shoot should wrap on April 14. Production also began in January on the 10-episode series Y The Last Man. It will wrap on July 31.
Most, if not all of these titles are aligned with a studio, network, distributor, etc. There are smaller and very much smaller independent shoots that we have not reported on here, but hope to be able to do that in the future.