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Netflix movie to begin filming in Boston this month

The Netflix movie “Don’t Look Up,” directed by Adam McKay, is set to begin shooting in Boston with its all-star cast Nov. 19. 

“Don’t Look Up,” Adam Mckay’s 2021 Netflix comedy starring Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo Dicaprio, Timothée Chalamet and more, will begin filming in Boston on Nov. 19. COURTESY OF GAGE SKIDMORE

The comedy features Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio and Timothée Chalamet, among others. Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi will appear in the film as well. 

“Don’t Look Up,” written and produced by McKay, follows two low-level astronomers trying to warn humanity about a giant asteroid that will destroy Earth in six months. 

Boston’s booming film industry and existing production infrastructure makes movie shoots of this size possible, said John Rule, owner of the production rental company Rule Boston Camera. 

“It’s fantastic,” Rule said. “There’s large studio complexes. There’s a huge crew base. There’s talented people in all kinds of positions who have chosen to move here.”

Chris O’Donnell, business manager of technician union International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 481, said studios film in Boston because of Massachusetts’ competitive film tax credit.

The Commonwealth offers film companies operating in the state a 25-percent tax credit on eligible production expenses, O’Donnell said. The credits are transferable, so out-of-state companies like Netflix can sell this credit to entities that have a state tax burden.  

This tax credit is Massachusetts’ most attractive feature for some production companies, Rule said.

“The cold reality of it is as much as they’re here for our locations and infrastructure, they’re also always looking for the right pricing,” Rule said. “We, as a state, need to be competitive with other states that also focus on this industry.”

Unions such as the IATSE have advocated to extend the tax credit bill, which is set to expire in 2022, O’Donnell said.

“Legislators are hearing from their businesses in their district,” O’Donnell said. “They’re hearing from people who live in their district, and I think they’re beginning to really understand the impact this has and that we need to keep it.”

Movies filming in Boston can benefit the tourism industry, Rule said, because moviegoers may choose to visit filming locations in the future.

“The tourism angle is something that really can’t be quantified but we know it works: the idea that people see things in movies and say, ‘Wow, that’s really cool, I want to go there,’” Rule said. “Once people do start to travel again and stay in hotels, that’s always been a big draw.”

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