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May 31, 2023

'Mare of Easttown' creator's new Apple Studios thriller filming in N.J.

'Echo Valley,' from Brad Ingelsby, shoots this summer in Hunterdon County and stars Julianne Moore and Sydney Sweeney

Entertainment Movies
brad ingelsby echo valley Courtesy/Brad Ingelsby

'Echo Valley,' an Apple Studios thriller written and produced by 'Mare of Easttown' creator Brad Ingelsby, is filming this summer in N.J. Above, Ingelsby on the 'Mare of Easttown' set.

Two years ago, Brad Ingelsby introduced the world to the beauty of the Delco accent in his hit HBO series "Mare of Easttown." The Berwyn native is keeping things local with his upcoming movie, now in production in North Jersey.

"Echo Valley," an Apple Studios thriller written and produced by Ingelsby, follows a string of chilling events that unfold for a horse trainer and her daughter on a picturesque farm in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

The film, which goes by the production name "Wildvale," is scheduled for shoots in Hunterdon County through June, according to the N.J. Motion Picture & Television Commission. 

A casting call posted earlier this month asks for 10- to 14-year-old girls with horseback riding experience for scenes being shot on Wednesday and Thursday in Stockton, Hunterdon County. There was also a call posted for teenagers with real lifeguarding experience for filming in Rockaway, Morris County, in late June. 

So far, the "Echo Valley" cast includes Julianne Moore, Sydney Sweeney and Domhnall Gleeson. Michael Pearce, BAFTA award-winning director of 2017's "Beast," will direct. Along with Ingelsby, Ridley Scott, who directed Apple's "The Last Duel" and the studio's upcoming "Napoleon," is a producer.

"Echo Valley" will focus on Kate (Moore), a woman who spends her days boarding and training horses on the secluded Echo Valley Farm following a personal tragedy, Variety reported. One night, her daughter Claire (Sweeney) arrives on her doorstep scared and covered in someone else's blood, which sets off a thrilling chain of events.

Sweeney, who received Emmy noms for her work on HBO's "The White Lotus" and "Euphoria," talked about the new film in a recent interview promoting her HBO movie "Reality."

“We just finished wrapping our first week," Sweeney said. "I’m so excited for this movie, it’s dark and it’s crazy. You’re going to love it."

Ingelsby, who attended Archbishop John Carroll High School and Villanova University, is no stranger to setting (and filming) dramas in the greater Philadelphia area. 

"Mare of Easttown," a whodunit starring Kate Winslet as small-town detective Mare Sheehan, earned critical acclaim and huge ratings for HBO. It also accumulated 16 Emmy nominations, winning four, and won local praise for its accurate depictions of Delco accents and regional staples like Wawa hoagies.

"I really wanted to tell a story about home, and I wanted to share with an audience the rhythms of life in a very specific part of this country," Ingelsby said of "Mare of Easttown" during a 2021 interview with PhillyVoice.

Fans will have to wait and see whether Ingelsby's latest film has as many local references as "Mare." An Apple TV+ release date has not yet been revealed.

"Echo Valley" is the latest in a string of projects produced in the Garden State. Paramount's "Mean Girls" movie musical, written by Upper Darby native Tina Fey, filmed in Monmouth County earlier this spring. Penn Valley director M. Night Shyamalan showcased South Jersey's spooky Pine Barrens in "Knock at the Cabin," which premiered in February

Other films currently shooting in N.J. include Paramount's "Winston," starring Billy Crystal, and Sony's "It Ends With Us," starring Blake Lively.

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