Photo by Kristina Schmitt
on track for 2022
By Elizabeth Perry
The McKees Rocks Bridge will be partially closed this summer in order to accommodate filming for a new Netflix movie directed by “Empire” creator Lee Daniels.
A date has yet to be chosen for filming, but McKees Rocks Police will be on-site to direct traffic, and the cost will be incurred by the production. Daily 24,000 vehicles cross the bridge at an average of 1,000 every hour. McKees Rocks Council approved the filming during a June 14 meeting.
Earlier this year, PennDot announced the bridge would be undergoing extensive renovations this summer that would be completed in the fall of 2023.
Steve Cowan, media representative for PennDOT, said the McKees Rocks Bridge project is “currently in pre-award status while bids are being evaluated.” The pre-bid construction schedule lists a start date of July 25, 2022 and a completion date of Sept. 6, 2024 but that may change based on the contract award date, Cowan said.
The partial closure for the film was originally scheduled for June 20, according to a document from Netflix studios, but now that date is up in the air.
“That is second unit work, so that’s always in flux,” said Bethany DiLucente, key assistant location manager.
Right now the partial closure for the film is scheduled for some time in July, DiLucente said.
Daniels is the Oscar-nominated director of the film “Precious.” He’s also directed other critically acclaimed films, including “Monster’s Ball” and “The Butler.”
His latest film, entitled “The Deliverance,” will be shot in locations around Pittsburgh.
The Netflix film is based on the documentary “Demon House,” which centers on the story of an Indiana mother, Latoya Ammons, who said her family was tormented by demonic possession. Ammons’ claims were unique in that the Indiana Department of Child Services extensively documented them.
DiLucente said the movie is “faith-based,” so the story may take an inspirational bent, rather than a horror angle.
“The Deliverance” stars some recognizable faces; Andra Day, who recently won acclaim playing singer Billie Holiday in Daniels’ “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” Monique, who won an Oscar for best-supporting actress in “Precious,” Aunjanue Ellis, Caleb McLaughlin and Glenn Close.
Ellis was nominated for a slew of awards for her recent role in “King Richard” and Close has been famous since her star-making turn in “Fatal Attraction.”
McLaughlin is best known for playing Lucas Sinclair on “Stranger Things.”
Paid extras are needed for the film for people aged 6 and up to play townspeople. Pay is $175 per day, and filming could last between 1-2 days. Work days on the film would run up to 12 hours. Proof of vaccine status is required. Interested people should contact Mosser Casting with height, weight and age at firstname.lastname@example.org.