Robert De Niro, Jessica Chastain and 30 other stars filming in Toronto this fall

American celebrities are flooding into Canada this fall, and it’s not just because of this week’s election. For decades, our fair city has proven a more-than-adequate generic backdrop for budget-minded Hollywood studios, and this season is no exception. Here are some of the productions—and stars—that will descend on Toronto this fall.

Molly’s Game

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Michael Cera, Kevin Costner Director: Aaron Sorkin Release Date: 2017 Aaron Sorkin makes his directorial debut with this biopic of Molly Bloom, a onetime skier who ran afoul of the FBI for running a high-stakes international poker game. Jessica Chastain leads the cast of this probable Oscar contender, which began local production this week.


The War with Grandpa

Starring: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Marisa Tomei, Eugene Levy Director: Tim Hill Release Date: April 21, 2017 Picasso had his blue period; Robert De Niro has his grandpa period. Following his triumphant turn in this year’s Dirty Grandpa, the acting legend mines more geriatric laughs in this story of a grandpa and grandson who are forced to share the same room. This family comedy reunites De Niro with Christopher Walken for the first time since The Deer Hunter. Production begins at the end of the month.



Starring: Amybeth McNulty, Geraldine James, R.H. Thomson Director: Niki Caro Release Date: Spring 2017 Just when you thought they were out of franchises to reboot, along comes a new version of Anne of Green Gables. Whale Rider director Niki Caro helms the pilot of the CBC/Netflix series, while Breaking Bad writer Moira Walley-Beckett handles scripting and production duties. She promises the show will be grounded, realistic and true to its source—apart, of course, from the fact that Millbrook, Ontario, will stand in as 1880s P.E.I. Filming is now underway.



Starring: James Franco, Dennis Quaid, Zoë Kravitz Director: Jonathan and Josh Baker Release Date: TBA James Franco has his art projects and his paycheque projects. Where does this film fall? Let’s just say it’s a sci-fi thriller about an ex-con and his younger brother who go on the run, protected only by an ancient weapon. (And there are guns.) Production began in late October.


Wish Upon

Starring: Shannon Purser, Joey King, Elisabeth Röhm, Ryan Phillippe Director: John R. Leonetti Release Date: TBA A teenage misfit discovers a mysterious box that grants her every wish. Does it come with a deadly price? Yes, dear reader, it does. Stranger Things’ Shannon Purser (the unfortunate Barb) headlines this horror thriller, which began shooting on the appropriately spooky date of October 31 and wraps on December 23.


The Handmaid’s Tale

Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Max Minghella, O.T. Fagbenle Director: Reed Morano Release Date: 2017 Elisabeth Moss stars as Offred, a concubine in a future dictatorship, in Hulu’s upcoming adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s speculative sci-fi novel. Filming continues until February at Toronto’s Cinespace Film Studios, and the wandering production has also been spotted in Hamilton and Cambridge.


Saw Legacy

Starring: TBA Director: Michael and Peter Spierig Release Date: October 27, 2017 In a shocking turn of events, 2010’s Saw 3D: The Final Chapter was not the, um, final chapter of this horror franchise. Keeping with tradition, Toronto’s warehouses and back alleys will serve as the backdrop for Jigsaw’s latest round of torturous schemes. Production reportedly took place in September and October, but no cast or plot details have been announced.


The Shape of Water

Starring: Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones Director: Guillermo Del Toro Release Date: 2017 Legendary Toronto director Guillermo Del Toro’s latest epic fantasy promises to do for Cold War-era America what Pan’s Labyrinth did for Franco-era Spain. It follows such super-productions as Crimson Peak and Pacific Rim, but early word suggests a return to the more intimate magical-realism of Del Toro’s earlier work. Production wrapped November 6.



Starring: Sean Teale, Allison Miller, Julia Ormond Director: David and Alex Pastor Release Date: November 30, 2016 In the future, when corporations have absolute power, a young executive tries to save the woman he loves by infiltrating a sinister company. This sci-fi parable from executive producers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrapped shooting at Cinescape on November 4, and will debut later this month on Syfy.


Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig and 30 other stars filming in Toronto this summer

Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig and 30 other stars filming in Toronto this summer

Plus: Guillermo del Toro's new flick, the return of xXx and a Flatliners remake


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