According to a recent entertainment report in the Toronto Star, Montreal is rapidly catching up with Toronto and Vancouver as a big movie location in Canada. “Every actor should be lucky enough to film in Quebec,” said Peter Coyote, “I think it’s a charmed environment.”
Charmed environment? But of course! But we’re pretty sure the charming exchange rate and our reasonably priced real-estate contribute to our charm (please see: Our Blog: Canada’s First City of Millionaires )
The idiosyncratic American actor and Emmy Award-winning narrator has brought the production of The Disappearance, a six-hour miniseries that will air on CTV in 2017, to a location just outside Montreal. Brushing up on his French with francophone cast and crewmembers between takes – as well as with Montréal-based Productions Casablanca producers, Joanne Forgues and Sophie Parizea – Coyote says he sees Canadians “as grown-up Americans.”
The Disappearance is one of several English-language productions currently shooting in Montreal. With the TV business already booming in Vancouver and Toronto, Montreal is fast becoming a popular third option as a Canadian production hub. A second straight mild fall has undoubtedly helped. Generous tax incentives, seasoned crews and the relatively low Canadian dollar haven’t hurt either.
Producers say Montreal also offers several “looks,” doubling well for North American, as well as European capitals.
Other shows in production in Montreal include Bellevue, a CBC mystery series starring Oscar winner Anna Paquin. Just wrapped is 21 Thunder, a new drama set in the world of pro soccer. Colm Feore (The Borgias) is among the stars. It’s set to premiere on CBC next summer.
Real Detective, a U.S. cable drama based on real cases and starring Vancouver native Devon Sawa, is back in production for a second season. The CBC drama This Life has been shot in Montreal for two seasons. The Comedy Network has also banked a fifth season of Just for Laughs: All Access.
Montreal is attracting feature film production as well. Ben Stiller was spotted recently along with Austin Abrams (Paper Towns) shooting a scene from their upcoming feature, Brad’s Status, which also stars Michael Sheen.
Wrapping production on a fourth and final season is another English series versioned from a Quebec French-language original: the Bravo police drama 19-2, starring Jared Keeso (Letterkenny) and Adrian Holmes (Impastor). “Montreal is my home now,” says Keeso, promoting his local bagel stop of choice by sporting a St-Viateur T-shirt. “Met my girlfriend and decided to stay.”
Montreal is a city of many attractions.