WORCESTER, Mass. - Multiple blockbuster films are being shot in Worcester starting this summer, including “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” according to sources.
Sources say the much-anticipated sequel to the 2018 blockbuster “Black Panther” will film scenes in Worcester over the next few months, including at Worcester Police Department headquarters.
Edgar Luna, the City of Worcester’s Cultural Development Office business manager, wouldn’t directly confirm the Ryan Coogler directed movie is filming in Worcester, but tells Spectrum News 1, “We are lucky to have a major Disney production filming here in the next couple of months. It was a movie that was extremely successful in 2018. We are pleased they have selected us.”
“The previous movie was filmed in Georgia and Korea,” Luna added. “Now they're coming here.”
"Black Panther" was filmed in Georgia and South Korea. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture in 2018 and ranks among movie-review site Rotten Tomatoes' top-five movies of all time.
Luna says the film’s technical department is in the city this week, scouting and inspecting filming locations.
Asked why the City can’t confirm specific movies being filmed in Worcester, Luna said, “It’s difficult to be specific. Every movie is different. One movie coming will be here for six weeks, one in September will be here for six or seven hours. We support the tax credits. It’s a big incentive to why movies come here.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the majority of filming for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” will take place in Atlanta starting next month.
The star of the first "Black Panther," Chadwick Boseman, died of cancer last August at the age of 43. Boseman's death delayed filming of the movie and pushed back the film's expected release date to July 8, 2022, according to multiple reports.
The city’s Cultural Development office oversees all movies filmed in Worcester. And, according to Luna, between last December and Sept. 2021, 11 movies will be filmed in Worcester.
“Worcester is a beautiful city. We can compete with anyone. (Movie studios) like that we are clean and friendly and we have everything. We work closely with (the Worcester Police Department) and (Worcester Fire Department) and (Department of Public Works),” Luna said. “When a movie comes we assemble a team to talk specifics so objectives can be reached. We help them select sites. Because we are smaller, we are able to close streets that others can't.”
Luna says each movie that comes to the city utilizes local resources, including leasing office, retail and residential spaces, uses local business, hires extras and security, and most importantly, “...they spend a lot of money.”
Luna said other major movies are going to be filming scenes in Worcester soon on Main Street, the Worcester Common, the Worcester Regional Airport, and local bars and restaurants.