Filming is underway in Hamilton for “Tiger,” a boxing movie starring Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke, according to Film Hamilton Director Steve Colwell, who was on the set Monday.
Filming will be done in Hamilton over the next month, he said.
“We are very fortunate to have this film here,” Colwell said, adding that some issues with the state’s film tax credit almost derailed the project. “This is a movie that has about a $1 million budget and should add some money to the local economy.”
“Tiger” marks the fourth film made in Hamilton during the past two years. The others were James Franco’s “The Long Home” in August; “The Echo Effect,” starring professional wrestler John Cenna, in 2014; and “Carol,” starring Cate Blanchett, in 2014.
Filming took place Monday at Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Hamilton. Upcoming filming locations also include Hamilton High School.
Filming will take place in the school’s gymnasium, weight room area, locker rooms and football stadium, according to Larry Knapp, business manager for Hamilton City Schools.
Actual hours for filming will vary between Nov. 22-30, he said.
“The producers are being very flexible with their time to make sure our school day is not impacted Nov. 23 and 24,” Knapp said. “Much of the filming will take place at night as that is what the script calls for.”
One of the movie’s line producers, Jon Wagner, is a Hamilton native.
“(Hamilton) has been incredibly welcoming. It has bent over backwards to help us,” Wagner told our news partner WCPO 9 On Your Side.
Wagner, a West Side native, also had a hand in the projects that previously filmed in the city.
“It’s a film makers dream come true to be perfectly honest,” Wagner told WCPO of why production companies continue to pick Hamilton to film movies. “There is a ton of different architecture. You can make it (Hamilton) look like a small town or a big city.”
Hamilton residents are also looking forward to the December release of “Carol” starring Cate Blanchett. That movie was filmed in Hamilton in 2014 and has received Oscar buzz after early screenings.
Ohio taxpayers have given reality television stars, commercials, and movies nearly $44 million since 2010 in an effort to lure Hollywood to the state.
“Tiger” is described as “a modern-day boxing drama based on the true story of Pardeep Nagra. The plot of the film begins as Nagra, an Eastern Indian Sikh faithful, is kicked off a soccer team for anger issues, only to be discovered by boxing coach Frank Donovan played by Rourke. Through that relationship, Nagra, played by Prem Singh, goes on to become a U.S. Olympic hopeful boxer.