Bayonne continues to attract film and television production. As I wrote this, the new CBS series, The Equalizer, was preparing to film in Bayonne on February 1. Queen Latifah stars in this new version of The Equalizer, which presents stories in the life of Robyn McCall, a woman who helps desperate people in need of justice. Going back to the 1980s, there have been previous versions of The Equalizer with other actors in the lead role. Edward Woodward played the title character in the earlier run of the show on television from 1985 to 1989. Denzel Washington starred in Equalizer movies in 2014 and 2018. Queen Latifah is the first woman to play the role.
We are honored that the new production has chosen Bayonne for shooting some of its scenes. The locations in the episode filmed on February 1 include Avenue E around 17th Street, and DiDomenico-16th Street Park.
It is very appropriate that Queen Latifah’s show is using New Jersey for production. Queen Latifah was born in Newark as Dana Owens. She grew up primarily in East Orange. As an adult, she has lived in other New Jersey communities such as Colts Neck and Rumson. We are glad that she is promoting television production in New Jersey. Queen Latifah is a multi-talented person – singer, songwriter, actress, and producer. We hope she will continue to use her talents to bring positive attention to New Jersey, which welcomes the positive publicity and economic benefits that come from television and film production.
The Equalizer is one of many television and film productions that have used Bayonne since the 1990s. For example, Oz, HBO’s prison drama (1997-2003), was filmed in a former warehouse at the former Military Ocean Terminal. The cast of Oz included such actors as Lee Tergesen, Rita Moreno, Earnest Lee Hudson, and J.K. Simmons. (You can see Mr. Simmons these days as the company spokesman in several Farmers Insurance commercials.)
Bayonne was the home to Centaur, the first independent film studio in the country. It was founded in 1907. Centaur’s West Coast division was called Nestor. It became the first motion picture company in Hollywood in 1911. Centaur/Nestor merged with other companies to form Universal. We have now come full circle. Universal is one of the companies involved in the production of The Equalizer.
We look forward to welcoming more film shoots and television productions to our community.