It’s an exciting time for many in Essex County who get to see filming taking place on a familiar street or even at a local grocery store. The Montclair Girl has learned there are two movies currently filming in the area: A Good Person, starring A-listers Morgan Freeman and Florence Pugh, and Jules, starring Ben Kingsley and Zoe Winters. Read on to learn more about both productions and where the stars were spotted in Essex County.
About A Good Person
According to the NJ Motion Picture & TV Commission, A Good Person will be filming around Essex County from October through November. The movie is directed and produced by NJ native Zach Braff and stars Morgan Freeman, Florence Pugh, Zoe Lister-Jones, and Molly Shannon among others.
The synopsis of the movie, per Deadline, is as follows: “A Good Person will follow Allison (Pugh), whose life falls apart following her involvement in a fatal accident. In the following years, it is the unlikely relationship she forms with her would-be father-in-law (Freeman) that helps her live a life worth living.”
A tipster sent celebrity-following Instagram account DeuxMoi a sighting on October 26th from Passaic. According to Backstage, the casting department sought out extras to be part of filming the next day on October 27 in Livingston and “other various NJ areas.” The roles the listing was looking for included soccer players to play on a high school team, a soccer referee, improv comedians, stand-ins, and a stand-in for Florence Pugh.
Morgan Freeman, who won an Oscar in 2005 for Million Dollar Baby, certainly had locals gasping as he made an appearance on Walnut Street in Montclair, as posted on the private Facebook page, Secret Montclair.
Most recently, A Good Person, produced by Killer Films and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), was spotted shooting at Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ on November 1st and 3rd.
The principal of the high school sent out a message spreading the news. Principal Frank Sanchez stated, “CHS Hall of Fame alum Zach Braff returned to his alma mater on Monday and Wednesday to film scenes from his newest film, A Good Person. The film will star Morgan Freeman, Florence Pugh, Molly Shannon, and our very own Ms. Lindsay Clesmere as ‘Soccer Coach.’ Ritzer Field was used for one of the scenes in the film as well. It is a low-budget movie… At least we have some sharp Columbia uniforms making an appearance in the film!”
Coinciding with filming for A Good Person, another film, Jules, is taking place at the same time. A member of the same Facebook group pointed out that she saw the film crew for A Good Person right after seeing Jules being filmed “on South Fullerton [Ave] the other day.”
Filming for Jules began September 10 and has been filming around Essex County and Morris County. The production by Big Beach Films is expected to last through November. The movie is directed and produced by Marc Turtletaub (of Little Miss Sunshine and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) and stars Ben Kingsley, Zoe Winters, Jane Curtin, and Harriet Sansom Harris among others.
The Synopsis, per TAPinto, is as follows: Kingsley plays “Milton, an elderly man who discovers an alien spaceship has mysteriously landed in his back yard. The film tells the story of an unlikely group of people coming together to help this extraterrestrial stranger find his way back home, and through their trials, they are able to find a deeper friendship with each other.”
Filming took place mid-September in various locations throughout the Town of Boonton, including Town Hall and sections along Main Street. Around the same time, the cast and crew were also spotted on Red Road in Chatham Borough.
Photos of Ben Kingsley, who won an Oscar in 1983 for Gandhi, hit major media outlets after he was photographed in character filming a grocery store scene at Corrado’s Market in Fairfield, NJ with his co-star Zoe Winters on September 20th.
Per Daily Mail Online, the Iron Man 3 actor was seen “in good spirits as he interacted with the cast and crew and was seen carrying bags of groceries from the store.” He looked unrecognizable — see the photos here.
We can’t wait to see both of these movies once they hit theaters! Stay tuned for the release dates. In the meantime, follow The Montclair Girl on Instagram for more news of filming taking place in the Garden State. DM us any sightings or email us any news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.