After the busiest 18 months in recent memory, the Massachusetts film industry is having a comparably quiet winter so far. Gone are the flashy cars and explosive stunts used during the filming of “Free Guy,” the frequent Chris Evans sightings during the filming of “Defending Jacob,” and the numerous actors costumed in 19th century garb for the filming of “Little Women,” which ended up taking home the Oscar for Best Costume Design.
Nevertheless, plenty of productions are happening in Massachusetts, from a fractured fairy tale for Disney+ to a horror-thriller produced by Sam Raimi.
Here are all of the major movies and TV shows filming in Massachusetts this year, as well as everything we currently know about them. Stay tuned for even more productions coming to the Bay State later this year, which we’ll be sure to share once the cameras start rolling.
‘City on a Hill’
Kevin Bacon and filmmakers rolled back the clock in Boston in February while filming season two of “City on a Hill,” the Showtime drama set in 1990s Boston. Crews visited the Downtown, Chinatown, and South End neighborhoods to film exteriors, and the “Footloose” actor was spotted on the steps of City Hall.
While “City on a Hill” is a Boston-set show, primary production is based in New York, so crews were only in Boston for a few days. The show, which is produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, was renewed in August 2019 for a second season, but no premiere date has been announced.
There hasn’t been much snow in the Boston area this winter, but there has been some fake snow. Film crews in Marblehead and Boston used holiday decorations and fake layers of the fluffy stuff for the filming of “Godmothered,” a comedy starring Isla Fisher (“Wedding Crashers”) and Jillian Bell (“22 Jump Street”) which will be released on Disney+.
Set at Christmas time, the film is about Eleanor (Bell), a young, inexperienced fairy godmother-in-training living in “The Motherland” who learns that her profession will soon cease to exist. Determined to prove that the world still needs fairy godmothers, she finds a letter from Mackenzie, a 12-year-old girl in distress, and sets out to find her. Eleanor then discovers that Mackenzie (Isla Fisher, “Wedding Crashers”) is now a 40-year-old single mom working at a Boston news station. Her husband passed away several years earlier, so Mackenzie has given up hope on “Happily Ever After,” but Eleanor is determined to “give Mackenzie a happiness makeover, whether she likes it or not,” according to a studio synopsis.
‘Kevin Can F*** Himself’
AMC Networks is hitting back at stereotypical gender roles in sitcoms with “Kevin Can Go F*** Himself,” a new series produced by sitcom veteran Rashida Jones (“Parks and Recreation”). According to AMC president Sarah Bennett, the show will let viewers “finally get to hear from the woman who has been the foil to sitcom ‘Kevins’ for decades.” Alternating between single-camera realism and multi-camera comedy, the series will imagine what would happen when a sitcom wife “escapes her confines and forces the world to let her take the lead,” according to a studio synopsis. Created by Craig DiGregorio (“Shrill”), the series will consist of eight hourlong episodes. It’s currently in production in Massachusetts.
Things are getting frightening: “Shrine,” a horror film produced by “Evil Dead” maestro Sam Raimi, begins filming in Sudbury in late February.
Based on the James Herbert novel of the same name, “Shrine” focuses on a disgraced journalist (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, “The Walking Dead”) in a small New England town who resurrects his career after discovering a series of seemingly divine miracles. Unfortunately, the “miracles” are not what they seem, and are eventually revealed to have a dark origin. The film is set to use several locations in Sudbury, including the Wayside Inn and the historic Goodnow Library, and will also shoot in the town of Clinton and at New England Studios in Devens. Co-starring Joana Brewster (“The Fast & The Furious”), “Shrine” does not have a scheduled release date.