WORCESTER – In the past six months alone, major Hollywood motion pictures and high-profile streaming projects “The Tender Bar,” “Dexter: New Blood,” “Confess, Fletch” and “Spirited” have all had scenes tours in Worcester.
But this is not the first time that a big production has arrived in town.
Here is a list of projects (and their release dates) shot in Worcester:
“American Hustle” (2013), with Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence. Scenes filmed at Nick’s Bar and Restaurant on Millbury Street, Union Station and the Worcester Art Museum. Nominated for 10 Oscars.
“Ava” (2020), with Jessica Chastain, John Malkovich, Geena Davis and Colin Farrell. Scenes filmed at Worcester Regional Airport.
“Captain Phillips” (2013), with Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi. Scenes filmed at Worcester Regional Airport. Nominated for six Oscars.
“Castle of the Rock” (2018), with Bill Skarsgård. Scenes shot in the lobby of the Mercantile Building and at Vernon Hill School on Providence Street. Series on Hulu.
“Christmas on Ice” (2020), scenes shot at Worcester Common Oval, Town Hall, Worcester Ice Center and BirchTree Bread Co. “Christmas on Ice” and “Fashionable Christmas” (2019), which was also filmed in downtown Worcester, both of which aired on Lifetime.
“Admit, Fletch” (to be confirmed), the highly anticipated “Fletch” reboot starring “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm. Filming took place at the T&G offices, located at the Mercantile Center at 100 Front St .; Cicero’s Café on Suffolk Street; and the Worcester Police Station in Lincoln Square.
“Defend Jacob” (2020), with Chris Evans. Scenes shot at Come Play Products and Vincent’s, both on Suffolk Street; Ingleside Avenue and Richmond Avenue neighborhoods. Series on Apple TV +.
“Dexter: new blood” (November 7, 2021), Michael C. Hall returns as everyone’s favorite fictional serial killer for Showtime’s “Dexter” reboot. Set during the Christmas season (and using a lot of fake snow), “Dexter: New Blood” was filmed at the AC Hotel by Marriott Worcester, Colby Avenue and Flagg Street, all in Worcester; the Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife Division in West Boylston; in Grafton and the Bull Run in Shirley.
“Don’t look up” (2021), in a scene filmed at the DCU Center, Meryl Streep plays President Janie Orlean, who ignores warnings from astronomers of a devastating meteor on a collision course with Earth and broadcasts “fake news” to her rabid fan base on the severity of the impending impact. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence play the doomed astronomers.
“Free man” (August 13, 2021), with Ryan Reynolds. Scenes filmed in and around Brew on the Grid, Portland and Franklin Streets opposite Worcester Common.
“Honest Thief” (2020), with Liam Neeson, Kate Walsh, Jai Courtney, Jeffrey Donovan, Anthony Ramos and Robert Patrick. Too many scenes from Worcester to count.
“The Judge” (2014), with Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vera Farmiga and Billy Bob Thornton. Scenes filmed at Worcester Regional Airport. Duvall was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
“Julie” (2021), with Sarah Lancashire (as Julia Child) and David Hyde Pierce. Scenes shot at the Denholm Building. Series on HBO Max.
“Knight and Day” (2010), with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Opening scene filmed at Worcester Regional Airport.
“The Burglary of the Young Girl” (2009), with Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken, William H. Macy and Marcia Gay Harden. Filmed primarily at the Worcester Art Museum. Despite its star power, the film was only a DVD release.
“The Sea of Trees” (2015), with Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe and Naomi Watts. Scenes shot on Park Avenue, the Clark University campus and the Purgatory Chasm in Sutton. Hue at the Cannes Film Festival.
“Trained” (to be confirmed), in this musical reinvention of Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol” (for Apple TV +), Ryan Reynolds, who plays the role of Scrooge, filmed scenes in the Great Hall of Mechanics Hall, where a set was built and dressed to look like a Rockettes inspired “Christmas Spectacular” stage show. While Will Ferrell, who plays the Ghost of the Christmas Present, was away in Worcester, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer (in an undisclosed role) was spotted alongside Reynolds, entering Mechanics Hall.
“Surrogate mothers” (2009), with Bruce Willis. Shot in the old Central District Court building and the old Vocational College for Boys at the north end of Main Street.
“The tender bar” (2021), the third floor of the 93-year-old Commerce High School was transformed into the New York Times newsroom, circa 1980s, for the George Clooney-directed film Ben Affleck starring “The Tender Bar”. Additionally, numerous outdoor scenes, with Affleck driving a 1970s convertible, were filmed in Fitchburg.
“Tombage” (2016), with Jason Sudeikis, Rebecca Hall, Blythe Danner, Griffin Dunne and Joe Manganiello. Scenes shot on Grove Street and at Worcester State University.
“We don’t belong here” (2017), with Catherine Keener, Cary Elwes, Anton Yelchin and Anne Starke. Scenes shot at Ralph’s Chadwick Square Diner. Video on demand, DVD and Blu-Ray output.