LAWRENCE — Actors and production crews are rolling in again as the city, for the the second time in less than a year, becomes the backdrop for another major movie.

Award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter Kathryn Bigelow is the star power behind the latest movie, a currently untitled piece about a police raid in Detroit in 1967 which became one of the largest citizen uprisings in U.S. history.

Bigelow is best known for her movies, “Point Break” in 1991, and “The Hurt Locker,” which won her an Academy Award for best director in 2008. She also directed “Zero Dark Thirty” four years ago.

Shooting starts Thursday at indoor venues on Market and Osgood streets, said Abel Vargas, city business development director.

Afterward, work will continue on Essex Street at night. Bigelow and crew will be in the city for a total of 9 days shooting scenes, said Vargas, who has worked for the past several months arranging the movie plans.

Last fall, actor Ben Affleck was in Lawrence shooting scenes for his new movie, “Live By Night,” a prohibition-era crime drama, which comes out in January.

Actors in this new movie include Jack Reynor, Will Poulter, Hannah Murray, Kaitlyn Dever and Anthony Mackie.

Variety also reported this week John Krasinski, of the TV sitcom “The Office” fame, is also joining Bigelow’s cast.

“The crime drama is set against the backdrop of Detroit’s devastating riots that took place over five haunting summer days in 1967. Although no studio is currently attached, producers are targeting a release in 2017 — the 50th anniversary of the riots,” according to Variety.

At the end of the month, scenes for another movie, the Netflix heist thriller ‘Wheelman,” will also be shot in Lawrence. Vargas said the old AAA building on Parker Street sets the scene for a bank robbery. A driving chase scene will be filmed on Methuen Street at Broadway and Hampshire.

Actor Frank Grillo stars in “Wheelman,” playing a getaway driver thrust into a high-stakes race to survive after a bank robbery goes terribly wrong.

Similarly to “Live By Night,” the city will be compensated for movie production here. Police, firefighters and other city employees will also be compensated for any work they do for the production company, Vargas explained.

“They know there’s value to filming in a place like Lawrence. We have architectural gems and great scenery,” he said.

After Affleck and his crew left the city in November, the city and area businesses were paid $330,000 by the movie production crew. The payment included a $30,000 donation to help make downtown Lawrence cleaner.

“At the end of the day, this was a net positive from the city. ... No one expected this could happen in Lawrence. And the best side of Lawrence was shown,” Mayor Daniel Rivera said then. 

“Live By Night,” is based on the novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane, who is from Dorchester.

Affleck, who lived at one time in Cambridge, is the movie’s main character, Joe Coughlin, the son of a Boston police captain who becomes an outlaw in 1926.

Filming for “Live By Night, was done of on Appleton Way between Lawrence City Hall and Lawrence Superior Court. Appleton Way was transformed into a bustling 1920s shopping area.

As the month progressed, more filming was done on the Casey Bridge, Canal and Methuen streets, at the Everett Mill and the Duck Bridge. 


Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.

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