The TV version of Blindspotting just wrapped shooting in Oakland, and a slew of new Hollywood productions are slated to shoot in SF and the greater Bay Area.
Before the pandemic hit, San Francisco movie fans were getting their popcorn hot-buttered over the Matrix 4 (or whatever they will call it) shooting in the Financial District, and to a lesser degree, Venom 2 (which is probably what they will call it) in production in the Tenderloin and elsewhere. Much of that came to a halt when, well, you know.
But the lights, camera, and action are getting set to resume at a pace near their pre-COVID capacities as we see encouraging signs in infection rates, and the Chronicle reports that at least four films and/or prestige TV shows are expected to shoot in San Francisco by this summer, with a large smattering of others elsewhere in the Bay Area.
“There are a significant number of productions in the pipeline waiting to get under way,” California Film Commission Director Colleen Bell told the Chronicle. “I’m very positive about getting back to some of the pre-COVID numbers sometime in the future. There’s no crystal ball, but people really are setting themselves up.”
Those who follow the movie-shoot intel know that there have been a few big production shoots even during the pandemic months, most notably Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (with Awkwafina and Michelle Yeoh) last summer and autumn here in SF. There has been a car commercial or two shot here as well. In the greater Bay Area, the Chron notes that the Starz TV adaptation of Blindspotting wrapped last week in West Oakland. A Netflix original film called Malcolm & Marie shot in Carmel this past summer, and that one already started streaming in early February. Disney+ shot some manner of reality show reboot called The Quest at a Calistoga winery over the last couple of weeks.
The Chron also notes that Tom Cruise’s upcoming Top Gun: Maverick sequel "did some production in the Bay Area" prior to the pandemic.
But what are the hot new Hollywood shoots in the pipeline for the Bay Area? Most of these projects are not named and are still somewhat shrouded in secrecy. But per the Chronicle, here’s what we know:
- Two indie flicks are scheduled to start shooting in SF this summer. No additional public details there.
- Some manner of additional blockbuster film is “considering action footage in June and more extensive filming with principal actors in the fall,” per the Chron.
- A TV pilot is expected to be shot in SF in the spring, but there’s no guarantee that pilot will be picked up by a network or streaming service. If it is, though, “it could be a two-year project” according to the SF Film Commission.
The Chronicle notes that there is a new California tax credit to keep productions here, rather than in Georgia or Canada, which has been the trend in recent years. Moreover, increased vaccination rates could lead to less restrictive set shoots as we get into the spring and summer months, which is great for casts and crew, because Tom Cruise is less likely to scream at and berate them for any perceived lapses.