DITMAS PARK – Stars of the new filming of the police crime drama “21 Bridges” were just a bit shy with the cameras this past Saturday, especially A-list actor Chadwick Boseman of “Black Panther” fame who emerged from a mock shooting inside a landmark home in a hood with production assistants attempting to block photographers from taking his picture on Saturday.
Residents were stopping by on this rare sunny day to watch the production that has been filming since last Thursday and were looking for the big stars of the movie – besides Boseman, including Sienna Miller, Taylor Klitch and JK Simmons (also known for his commercials for Farmers Insurance).
Simmons was spotted outside the home at 277 Stratford Road near Beverley Road on Saturday in an NYPD captain’s uniform – blood covering the lower half of his stomach and his hand, after a scene was shot in which neighbors could hear multiple shots ring out.
NYPD Movie and TV unit officers said the 70th Precinct had already been informed of the filming and that there would be shots fired in the vicinity of the movie shoot.
It wasn’t even known locally that Boseman was on set for this scene until he emerged from the rear of the home to a waiting Suburban limo, dressed in a blue suit, but wearing a blue windbreaker with a blue hood.
He seemed surprised to see a camera trained on him as a production assistant and several security men tried to shield him. Simmons also walked out the rear with a hood on, but he had already been spotted in the front of the home in full police uniform.
Residents walking by continued to inquire about the movie and were astonished to hear Boseman was filming in the community. He is also known for his portrayal of baseball player Jackie Robinson in the movie “42” and as the former Supreme Court Chief Justice Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall.”
“Oh, he’s the Black Panther actor, isn’t he,” said one man walking with his child in a stroller. He and his family stood across the street for 10 minutes, his 3-year-old boy inquiring, “what are they doing?” Even after an explanation, the child didn’t understand.
A large film crew took over numerous streets around the filming which is expected to run through the week.
On Tuesday, we were told the crew would be filming a crash sequence and unspecified streets would be blocked for that shoot and a time to be determined.
According to IMDB, the movie follows a disgraced detective in the NYPD who is given a shot at redemption. Thrust into a citywide manhunt for a cop killer, he begins to undercover a massive conspiracy that links his fellow cops to a criminal empire and must decide who he is hunting and who is actually hunting him. During the manhunt, Manhattan is completely locked down for the first time in its history – no exit or entry to the island including all 17 bridges.
The Ditmas Park community is popular for film shoots, its landmark homes, many of them Queen Anne style, are a frequent location for many movies. Residents are paid rental fees by movie companies for these shoots.
Some of the many films include “Malcolm X” “Blood Ties” “Sophie’s Choice” and “The Savages” to name a few. Many TV shows have also been filmed here including “Law & Order: SVU,” “The Good Wife,” and “Boardwalk Empire.”