AP NEWS

Movie Filming In Locations Around Downtown Scranton

March 29, 2019

Tractor-trailers and smaller trucks filled with moviemaking gear rolled into downtown Scranton on Friday to film a movie whose main stunt will include a vehicle exploding Monday on Wyoming Avenue. “The Virtuoso” — starring Anthony Hopkins, Anson Mount and Abbie Cornish — centers on a hitman, played by Mount, whose first kill will take place from his upper-story perch in the former Dime Bank building at 400 Spruce St. The hitman aims at a victim in the Hotel Jermyn, said Justin Hank, the movie’s location manager. “The sniper is peering into the Jermyn building where he gets his first kill of the movie and then he escapes,” Hank said. Film crews planned to shoot that scene late Friday night into this morning, Hank said. They will take the weekend off and return Monday to shoot the climactic scene — a collision between a car and a recreational vehicle, Hank said. “Our last day of shooting is on Tuesday (also in Scranton) so we’re kind of finishing out with a bang here in Scranton,” Hank said. The collision is set to take place Monday in the 200 block of Wyoming Avenue. Police will close the block between Linden and Spruce streets as crews set up. When the scene happens, police will also close the 300 block of Wyoming to Mulberry Street. That will allow the car to speed toward the RV as the hitman fires a gun at the car. “It’s going to be fun, it’s going to be great and people are more than welcome to stop by,” Hank said. Staff and police will keep spectators a safe distance from the explosion. He declined to say exactly what time Monday the explosion will happen. City Police Chief Carl Graziano said police and firefighters will be stationed downtown to control crowds and any resulting fire. “Hopefully, it goes safely on Monday,” Graziano said. “That’s a little different, blowing up an RV ... It’ll be fine.” The film’s crew shot other scenes at Doc’s at the Rocks, a Lake Ariel restaurant. The movie will move into post-production — the job of editing it into a coherent narrative — and will then seek entry into film festivals and a buyer and distributor, Hank said. Hank said he began scouting locations for the movie last month. He and director Nick Stagliano were in the Poconos and needed to find a city. Hank suggested visiting Scranton, which was nearby. Its locations matched the film’s needs. “We came here, we fell in love with it immediately,” Hank said. “The second we came in here, we were like ‘Hey, we want to do this crazy stunt’ and they backed us the whole way and that’s fantastic.” He praised city officials and building owners for clearing the way. Hank, a New York City native, said New Yorkers are used to films shooting in their midst and are almost jaded about it. “There’s so much work there and people are so almost sick of you, but you come out here and maybe there’s not a whole lot of movies out here and it just excites everybody,” Hank said. “In New York, it’s like ‘Oh, great, you’re taking my park again.’ Here it’s like, ‘Oh my God, what are you guys doing? Here’s some cookies. How else can I help? How can I be a part of this? How can I touch this?’ And it’s absolutely wonderful.” “The Virtuoso” is just the latest film to shoot in Northeast Pennsylvania in the last 50 years. Others include “The Molly Maguires,” “Wanda,” “That Championship Season,” “Blue Valentine” and “The Trouble with Cali.” Contact the writer: bkrawczeniuk@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9147; @BorysBlogTT on Twitter