It’s a wrap for “Red Zone,” the NBC/Universal-for-CBS pilot that has been filming in Wilmington the past few weeks.
The CIA-centered show, starring Anthony LaPaglia and Kim Dickens, among others, joins ABC’s “Secrets & Lies,” likewise locally filmed, in the hunt for a series green-light later this spring.
Cast and crew for “Red Zone” celebrated with a wrap party this week at Blue Post Billiards in downtown Wilmington. A similar party was held last month for “Secrets and Lies” at Satellite Bar and Lounge.
The pilots are the first of several productions to wrap this year. Another pilot, FX’s “How and Why,” is set to shoot later this month, while CBS’ “Under the Dome” is currently filming its second season. Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” is set to start filming its follow-up season in May, and several feature films are also slated to film in Hollywood East this year.
Much of that filming is done on-location at various settings in and around Wilmington, but the center of the universe for all of those productions is EUE/Screen Gems Studios, which is bustling with activity.
“Red Zone” used one of the studio’s sound stages to create a faux CIA interrogation room, while other stages shield other movie magic in the works, as Keegan Limbrick, a location scout for the Wilmington Regional Film Commission, observed last week.
“They’re building the front of the Smithsonian down at Stage 10; an interrogation room for the CIA over there,” Limbrick said, nonchalantly, while driving around the studio’s lot.
“Red Zone,” directed by James Foley, is written and produced by Nikki Toscano, who also produced the pilot for ABC’s “Revenge,” which was filmed in Southport in 2011. Beyond Screen Gems, the show filmed scenes in the Forest Hills neighborhood, Maides Park and inside Independence Mall, which was made to look like a museum.
The production also used Legion Stadium to try out extras with football experience.
LaPaglia, known to audiences for the CBS series “Without a Trace” and films including “Empire Records,” which was shot in Wilmington in the mid-1990s, stars in “Red Zone” as Holden Weller, a retired CIA operative and high school football coach “who is pulled back into action when a terrorist event rocks Washington, D.C.,” according to a synopsis.
Pilots picked up as full-season series are typically announced at industry events in May.