Stallone movie filming in Butler County: Posts, sightings create buzz

The intrigue surrounding a Sylvester Stallone spy thriller being filmed in Butler County this month sounds almost as interesting as the plot:

— Walkers and horseback riders in Hueston Woods come across a plane in a wooded area staged to look like a crash, but park officials say it was for a “special project”; and

— Oxford shares with residents a message about filming planned in the city but later removes the post.

The Stallone film is titled “Alarum,” and the state awarded a $5.8 million tax credit earlier this month for filming in the region.

The movie’s plot reportedly involves the CIA finding two rogue spies who go off-grid and get married. WXIX-TV cited a city of Oxford website post since removed and said “... all hell is unleashed on their winter honeymoon cabin resort in the woods by a consortium of international spy organizations who are after a ‘flight pill,’ aka a hard drive.”

Jessica Greene, Oxford assistant city manager, told council and leaders at their Feb. 20 meeting: “I just want the public to know that Sylvester Stallone will be filming a movie in Oxford ... They will have our fire and EMS team there because they might have a small explosion, and there would be filming around town.”

Greene told city leaders she had worked daily with the production company on timing, parking and other details.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Crowds gathered in locations in Oxford on Tuesday to get glimpses of filming.

One resident posted a photo of Left Field Tavern with artwork covering the windows that appeared to make the bar seem like it was in Poland.

Earlier in the month, other area residents posted their encounter with film crews in Hueston Woods. A group riding horseback came across what initially appeared to look like a plane crash, but the riders realized the pieces of the plane had been placed there.

Trailers and vans for the film crew also could be seen in the area, and some signs were spotted that had an arrow pointing to set sites.

The plane has since been removed from Hueston Woods. Park officials have said it was part of a “special project” at the park that received proper permits.

Butler County is no stranger to movie filming. In October 2022, “The Bikeriders,” featuring stars Austin Butler, Jodie Comer and Tom Hardy was recorded at various locations in Hamilton and Middletown. In 2019, “Dark Waters” with actor Mark Ruffalo filmed in Hamilton as the movie is based off a true story that happened in the region.

In 2017, “The Old Man and the Gun,” starring Clint Eastwood, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover and Casey Affleck, filmed in downtown Hamilton.

Oxford was the spot where some of “Ides of March” was filmed. The 2011 drama/thriller stars Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, George Clooney and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

The Ohio Department of Development earlier this month announced state support of more than $44 million in tax credits for the filming of TV series and feature films across Ohio.

“Alarum” received $5,863,392 for filming in the region.

Awards were made through the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit Program. It offers a refundable tax credit of 30% on production cast and crew wages and other in-state spending for eligible productions, including feature-length films, documentaries, pre-Broadway productions, miniseries, video games, and music videos, a state release said.

“Investing in these productions fuels the vibrant creativity that’s alive in Ohio’s communities and serves as a powerful catalyst for economic growth,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “These projects celebrate and showcase our diverse landscapes, generate jobs, stimulate local businesses, and create a lasting legacy for the arts in Ohio.”