HAMILTON, Ohio — The hits just keep coming for the growing Tri-State film industry.
Primary filming began Monday in Hamilton for “Tiger," a boxing movie starring Mickey Rourke, as confirmed by one of the movie’s line producers, Jon Wagner.
“This is the third project I have been a part of in Hamilton,” Wagner said.
“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.
Wagner said crews will spend 19 days filming “Tiger” here. A majority of that time, 16 days, will be spent in Hamilton. Crews will spend three days filming in Cincinnati, he added.
“The city has been incredibly welcoming,” Wagner said of Hamilton. “Its bent over backwards to help us.”
This is the third film made in Hamilton over the past two years. The others were James Franco’s “The Long Home” in August and “The Echo Effect,” starring professional wrestler John Cenna, back in 2014. Wagner, a West Side native, has had a hand in those projects as well. He worked with Film Hamilton to bring those movies to the region.
“It’s a film makers dream come true to be perfectly honest,” Wagner said of why production companies continue to pick the Tri-State, particularly Hamilton, to film movies. “There is a ton of different architecture. You can make it (Hamilton) look l like small town or a big city.”
He cited the film tax credit offered by Ohio to entice filmmakers to the Buckeye state.
“Tiger” is the fifth film to shoot in the region this year. Other movies include the already mentioned “The Long Home,” a second James Franco picture, “Goat,” “Marauders” starring Bruce Willis, and most recently the made-for-TV holiday film, “A Christmas Melody” directed by Mariah Carey.
Tri-State residents are also looking forward to the Dec. 12 local premiere of “Carol” starring Cate Blanchett. That movie was filmed in Cincinnati in 2014 and has received Oscar buzz after early screenings. Details on the local premiere are forthcoming, according to the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission.