Movie Co-Starring Matthew McConaughey to Begin Filming in Lakewood | The City of Lakewood, Ohio

Movie Co-Starring Matthew McConaughey to Begin Filming in Lakewood

April 24, 2017

Lights. Camera. …Lakewood!

Part of Downtown Lakewood will be transformed into a Hollywood film shoot, with the action slated to begin Monday, April 24.

The film, yet to be given a title, stars Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, among others. The movie tells the true story of Richard Wershe Jr., who in mid-1980s Detroit at the age of only 14 became an undercover informant for local and federal law enforcement agencies and then established himself as a major drug dealer. The story follows that time of the boy’s life as well as the relationship with his blue-collar father, portrayed by McConaughey.

Kevin Foster, the assistant location manager for the film, said that Rust Belt cities of Cleveland and Detroit share many similar characteristics, noting that Lakewood was a perfect fit.

“This is an ideal situation,” he said. “We’re happy to have this opportunity to film in Lakewood.”

The cast and crew will primarily use the vacant and unused portions of the former Lakewood Hospital for filming. “Hospitals are hard to come by and tough to pull off because live hospitals can’t accommodate filming for obvious reasons.”

While he did not share specific details about the Lakewood scenes, Foster noted that the movie “isn’t a big action-scene kind of movie.”

Although the actual filming will only take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, the crew will begin setting up on Monday, and break-down will continue through Thursday, April 27.

Bryce Sylvester, the city’s director of planning and development, noted that projects like this add to the city’s vibrancy — especially with 120 members of the film crew and several A-list Hollywood actors in the city’s downtown.

“This certainly adds to our profile,” said Sylvester, who reviewed and approved the studio’s application process. “It’s encouraging to us that we have an environment that film scouts find attractive. In Lakewood, we continue to build off of our successes. This film is just another example of that.”

The crew is expected to park their vehicles at Madison Park, where they will be shuttled to the film shoot at Lakewood Hospital. Additionally, parking meters along Marlowe will be utilized for the production trailers.