Robert Downey Jr. to start shooting in Shelburne Falls

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How did Shelburne Falls become a Hollywood backlot? The little village along the Deerfield River is set to host its second big-budget movie in a year, this one starring Robert Downey Jr., Leighton Meester, Vera Farmiga, Robert Duvall, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Billy Bob Thornton. In “The Judge,” which starts shooting in June, Downey plays a lawyer who returns home for his mother’s funeral, and discovers that his father, a small town judge played by Duvall, is suspected of murder. It’s being directed by David Dobkin, whose credits include “Wedding Crashers” and “The Change-Up.” According to the Greenfield Recorder, producers recently visited Shelburne Falls, chatting up merchants and touring buildings. Last June, Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin filmed “Labor Day,” directed by Jason Reitman, in Shelburne Falls.

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