Guillermo Del Toro movie to begin filming in Buffalo, local extras and businesses benefit

Local News

(WIVB) — More Hollywood glitz and glam is making its way to The Queen City! A movie directed by Guillermo Del Toro will film in Buffalo Tuesday through the weekend.

Buffalo’s film commissioner Tim Clark said crews will mainly stay in the city of Buffalo.

The movie is called “Nightmare Alley” and stars Bradley Cooper. According to Searchlight Films, Cooper plays an ambitious young carny who gets together with a female psychiatrist to con people out of money.

The film will also star Rooney Mara, Willem Dafoe, Cate Blanchett, Ron Perlman and Richard Jenkins.

Nightmare Alley is mainly being filmed in Toronto, but Clark said Del Toro was drawn to Buffalo’s distinct architecture for some scenes in the movie.

“It’s really quite an important asset of ours to talk about when we sell this area for movie production,” Clark said about Buffalo’s architecture. “So many other communities have torn this sort of architecture down, but we’ve got a very active preservationist group here which was really smart in keeping it. This is in fact a period movie, and it fits in very, very well with what they’re looking for.”

Clark said more than 200 people were hired to do behind-the-scenes work for this week of filming. About half of them are from the area. And about 400 extras were also hired. The majority, or all, of the extras are from WNY.

Many local businesses will also benefit from the movie. That includes an antique store on Tonawanda Street, CooCooU. The 12,000 sq. ft. space holds thousands of mid-century modern pieces, and the set director for Nightmare Alley was extremely interested in some of the store’s furniture for the film.

“The movie was set in the late 30s, 40s, and I have a lot of art deco props, and whatnot, and statues and lighting and furniture for various sets they were putting together,” Michael Merisola said, the owner of CooCooU. “It’s fun for me to see it after it’s done. You look at it, and go, ‘there’s my dresser.’ So it’s kind of neat.”

Merisola also sold and rented furniture that was featured in The Shape of Water, A Quiet Place Part II, Marshall and other movies, commercials and shows.

“It leaves millions and millions of dollars,” Tim Clark said. “The tangible impact of a movie like this is staggering really. But the intangible is also staggering, because it allows our city to be portrayed really worldwide on the silver screen, on the big screen, and that’s something money really can’t buy.”

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