Pop Goes The News – A busy season of film and television production is bringing stars like Ralph Fiennes and Ice Cube, familiar characters like Clarice Starling and Robert Langdon, and not-so-human stars like Chucky the doll and the monkey from Friends to Toronto.
Below is a list of some of the most notable projects shooting in and around the city in the coming months.
Not included are returning TV series that are made in Toronto, including American Gods (to April 6), The Handmaid’s Tale (to July 24), Nurses (to June 11) and Titans (March 30 to Nov. 1).
Let the star-spotting begin!
8-Bit Christmas (March 30 to June 2)
Homegrown director Michael Dowse (Goon) is directing this HBO Max flick from a script by Kevin Jakubowski. Set in Chicago in the ‘80s, it’s about a 10-year-old kid’s mission to score a Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas.
Best Intentions (March 18 to May 1)
David Fynn (Undateable) plays a single dad who works as a guidance counsellor at the high school of his son, played by Daniel Rashid (Being Frank). The eight-episode comedy series, for U.S. cable channel Pop TV, was created by Adam Herz (American Pie) and also stars Lindsey Gort (The Carrie Diaries).
Children Ruin Everything (Spring)
This half-hour comedy series from Chuck Tatham (Modern Family) and Kurt Smeaton (Schitt’s Creek) for CTV follows the adventures of parents Astrid and James.
Chucky (July 6 to Nov. 13)
The red-haired killer doll from all those movies is coming to the small screen. This series, for U.S. cable channel SyFy, centres on a small town hit with a bunch of murders after a vintage Chucky doll shows up at a yard sale.
Clarice (March 15 to April 2)
The pilot for the CBS drama series about FBI agent Clarice Starling (played by Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs) will star Rebecca Breeds (Pretty Little Liars) in the title role. Set in 1993, a year after the events of Lambs, it focuses on Starling’s hunt for the worst criminals.
Farnsworth House (Spring)
Elizabeth Debicki and Ralph Fiennes co-star in this film, set in Chicago in the ‘40s, about Dr. Edith Farnsworth’s professional and personal relationship with architect Mies Van Der Rohe. It will be directed by Richard Press, who also wrote the screenplay.
Flint Strong (March 16 to May 6)
Based upon a 2015 documentary, this movie stars Ryan Destiny (Star) as Claressa Shields, the Michigan teen who dreamed of becoming the first female to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing. Ice Cube will play her trainer in the feature directorial debut of Rachel Morrison, the Oscar-nominated cinematographer (for Mudhound) who was director of photography on Black Panther.
Gilded Rage (Spring)
Christoph Waltz, Lily Collins and Bill Skarsgård all make their returns to Toronto to shoot this dramatic thriller about the real-life murder of Manhattan hedge fund manager Thomas Gilbert Sr. Directed by Charlie McDowell, the film counts Jake Gyllenhaal among its producers.
Good Sam (March 16 to April 3)
Jason Isaacs and Sophia Bush star in the pilot for this potential CBS medical drama series. Isaacs plays a hospital chief of surgery who awakens from a coma to find out his daughter, a heart surgeon, has taken over his position.
Langdon (March 10 to April 3)
This is a pilot for a series based on Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol and follows famed symbolist Robert Langdon (played by Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons and Inferno). Ashley Zukerman (Succession) takes over the role.
Lullaby (March 24 to April 28)
Based out of the same Downsview space that once hosted the soundstages of Suits and Designated Survivor, this horror movie stars Oona Chaplin (Game of Thrones) as a new mom who unleashes an ancient demon named Lilith from a lullaby she finds in an old book. John R. Leonetti (Annabelle) will direct.
Nightmare Alley (to May 13)
Guillermo del Toro has been shooting this thriller since January. Based on William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 book of the same name, it stars Bradley Cooper, Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe and Ron Perlman.
See (to July 10)
This Apple TV+ series has come east for its sophomore season (the first was shot in B.C.) and couldn’t be more timely, despite being set in the future. It’s about life after a virus that has killed most humans and left survivors without sight. Jason Momoa and Dave Bautista are among the stars.
Sex / Life (to May 28)
This eight-episode Netflix series, based on BB Easton’s book 44 Chapters About 4 Men, tells the story of a love triangle between a woman (Sarah Shahi), her husband (Mike Vogel) and her past. The cast also includes Margaret Odette and Adam Demos.
Y: The Last Man (April 6 to Aug. 18)
FX is adapting Brian K. Vaughan’s post-apocalyptic comic into a 10-episode series starring Ben Schnetzer (Snowden). He and his Capuchin monkey (played by Katie, who was Marcel on Friends) survive a plague that kills every human and animal with a Y chromosome. Diane Lane, Imogen Poohs, Lashana Lynch and Amber Tamblyn are also in the cast.