January 02, 2019
With the end of the holidays comes the height of the movie-going season, and it turns out Philadelphia will be a recurring backdrop for several new releases in 2019. Here's a look at what to expect in the Philly cinematic universe this year, plus what local spots you might recognize in this year's films.
Release Date: Jan. 11
Starring: Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston, Nicole Kidman
Kevin Hart's dramedy debut is finally hitting theaters this month after filming in early 2017 under the name "The Untouchables" and later "Untouchable" before finally settling on "The Upside." It was initially meant to premiere in March 2018, though its release went into limbo with the fall of The Weinstein Co., which produced "The Upside," marking a stagnant delay in its premiere.
Audiences got a peek at "The Upside" at the Philadelphia Film Festival in October, but now the movie is officially opening, following Hart as Dell, who gets hired as an assistant to Phillip (Cranston), a "richer-than-Jay-Z" Rittenhouse quadriplegic. Check out the trailer and keep an eye out for some Center City streets.
Release Date: Jan. 17
Starring: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson
M. Night Shyamalan's third installment to the "Unbreakable" trilogy, following 2016's "Split," continues the story of David Dunn, Kevin Wendell Crumb, and Elijah Price, all of whom meet Sarah Paulson as Dr. Ellie Staple, who specializes in treating individuals who believe they are superheroes. Like all of Shyamalan's movies, Philly is the backdrop to "Glass," with images of 30th Street Station, Fairmount Park, and South Street's Brave New Worlds previewed in the trailer.
Release Date: April 5
Starring: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel
An upcoming addition to the DC cinematic universe, "Shazam!" follows an orphan in Philadelphia who transforms into his favorite superhero via SEPTA ... or something like that. Though the production was largely shot in Toronto, the story itself takes place in and around Philly, and crews were spotted here for a few outdoor scenes just last month, right by the giant Christmas tree in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum. A new trailer is rumored for release soon, but in the meantime check the one that dropped last year for an inaccurate map of SEPTA and some stock views of Philly.
Release Date: July 12
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller
Though the story of "17 Bridges" is set in Manhattan, production tapped into some Philly streets for the action film that follows an NYPD detective (Boseman) who is on a citywide manhunt for a cop killer, with all 17 bridges in and out of Manhattan closed for the night. Miller co-stars as a reporter, and though no trailer is available, we all got a glimpse at production as Miller's character lived at this Rittenhouse apartment. Nearby spots, such as 20th Street's Tinto and Shake Shack, were also briefly transformed for production.
Released Date: Unknown
Starring: Lauren Ambrose, Rupert Grint
Late last year, a mangled car was parked at the entrance of Rittenhouse Square, giving the alarming look of a monstrous car accident. In reality, thankfully, it was part of a set for a production believed to be linked to Shyamalan, an untitled series that also was spotted filming around 21st and Spruce last November. Details are still mum, with the project still nameless on IMDB.