A car explodes in front of a snow-covered, colorful nostalgia store in Middletown. If you see that scene unfolding today outside Wild Bill's Nostalgia shop, don't be alarmed. It's only a movie, but a Hollywood action-packed thriller at that with a lot of Connecticut talent.
Actor and producer David Gere helped bring Hollywood to his hometown of Cromwell and the surrounding area as Hollywood producer and former Groton resident Richard Switzer's production company, Switzer Entertainment Group, films "Blue Line" in Connecticut this week.
Directed by Greenwich resident Jacob Cooney, "Blue Line" is a movie "about revenge," telling the story of a "master thief pulling off the heist of a lifetime with a jaded police detective hot on her trail," according to a news release about the film. Cooney, who "recently left Hollywood to bring his writing and directing talents to Connecticut, co-wrote the movie, the release said.
The car explosion was being filmed at Wild Bill's on Tuesday, fresh after the third consecutive Monday snowstorm hit Connecticut.
Professional stunt sequences and car chases are going to be filmed near Golf Club Road in Cromwel.
"It’s exciting to have Hollywood level car chase scenes and fight choreography performed by stunt legends Gary Hymes, Tom McComas and directed by Eric Norris (son of Chuck Norris) who recently finished the final scenes of the Sons of Anarchy series in a local town setting," Los Angeles producer and actor Thyme Lewis ("Days of Our Lives," "American Horror Story," "Sons of Anarchy") said in a statement.
The film stars WWE professional wrestler Kevin Nash ("The Punisher," "The Longest Yard" and "Magic Mike") as Cisco, Tom Sizemore ("Saving Private Ryan, "Black Hawk Down" and "Heat") as Det. Broza and Jordan Ladd ("Never Been Kissed, "Cabin Fever, "Death Proof") as Lindsay Walters. Lewis plays Chris Mack.
Gere, who has credits in various films and television series, including an episode of "Gossip Girl," "Army of the Damned," "A Bet's A Bet" and "Sensory Perception," plays Declan. Partnering with Switzer, Lewis and producer and sales agent Tyler Konney on the project, Gere is the reason it's being filmed in the Cromwell area.
One of his contacts was Cromwell High School classmate and Cromwell Mayor Enzo Faienza.
"I'm so proud of Dave and his desire to go to Hollywood and make his dream come true to bring movie making to our town," Faienza said in a statement."It's a testament to our youth that if you work hard and strive for your goals anything is possible. These are exciting times for Cromwell as Dave is including so many members of our community in process of making this film. It has been a collaborative effort, and a pleasure working with Dave, Thyme, Richard and Jacob. They are true professionals who care about the integrity of the town and making the film work here. I can't wait to see the final product when it is completed."
The Switzer Entertainment Group began filming Jan. 25 and plans on shooting through Feb. 13.
Switzer, who was highlighted on Entertainment Tonight as the "youngest movie producer in history), is getting the community involved, including about 200 Middletown and Cromwell crew members, extras and residents, local officials like Cromwell Police Chief Anthony Salvatore and Fire Chief Stephen Pendel, Cromwell High School and small businesses like Wild Bill's, the Cromwell Dine and Willowbrook Package Store.