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New movie, filmed in Bayonne, to premiere soon

With a film studio in the works, the city looks to attract more film production

A still from "Last Call" courtesy of IFC Films.

Bayonne continues to attract film and television production, with a film studio planned at the site of the former Texaco oil refinery.

With most of the  filming complete, IFC Films announced the release of the comedy “Last Call” on March 19. The film, formerly titled “Crabs in a Bucket,” stars Jeremy Piven. The movie was filmed in Bayonne, East Rutherford, and Asbury Park.

The picture follows Mick, played by Jeremy Piven, who is a local success story and real estate developer. He returns home to his blue-collar neighborhood in Philadelphia for a funeral and is obligated to stay to ensure his parents’ ailing family business gets back on course.

Meanwhile, he grows closer to his childhood crush, Taryn Manning, while enduring constant ridicule from his old hometown crew. As Mick begins to reconnect with the neighborhood, he finds himself at a crossroads when forced to either raze or resurrect the family bar.

The movie stars two-time Oscar nominee Bruce Dern, Jamie
Kennedy, Raging Bull Oscar nominee Cathy Moriarty, Jack McGee, Zach McGowan and Cheri Oteri. The film, co-written and executive produced by Greg Lingo, was directed by co-writer Paolo Pilladi.

Also producing is DJ Dodd, Taryn Manning, Zach McGowan, Ante Novakovic, Jeremy Piven, and Rob Simmons. The film will be released on March 19th theatrically and streaming OnDemand, YouTube, iTunes, AppleTV, GooglePlay, VUDO, Amazon Video, Xbox, DirecTV, and IFC Center at home.

The Equalizer

The new CBS series, “The Equalizer,” was filmed in Bayonne in February, according to Mayor James Davis.

Singer, songwriter, actress, and producer 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. While there have been previous versions of “The Equalizer” with other actors in the lead role, 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,” Davis said. The locations in the episode 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,” Davis said. “We are glad that she is promoting television production in New Jersey.”

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, Rumson, and Jersey City.

“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,” Davis said.

Past projects filmed in Bayonne

Many television and film productions have filmed in Bayonne since the 1990s, most famously, the 2005 movie “War of the Worlds.” Oz, an HBO prison drama that aired from 1997 to 2003, was filmed in a former warehouse at the former Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne (MOTBY).

Bayonne was also the home to Centaur, the first independent film studio in the country, founded in 1907. Centaur’s West Coast division was called Nestor, which 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,” Davis said. “Universal is one of the companies involved in the production of ‘The Equalizer.'”

And with the imminent return of a film studio, more projects are bound to be filmed in the city.

“We look forward to welcoming more film shoots and television productions to our community,” Davis said.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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