Local filming for Nicolas Cage movie kicks off

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Two big-name stars are in town for one big movie. “Tokarev”, starring Nicolas Cage and Danny Glover, began filming June 10 in Downtown Mobile.

Fans of Cage can expect a high-impact thriller from this film being filmed in and around the Mobile area.

“You’re going to be on a ride with this chase scene,” said Second Unit Director and Stunt Coordinator Johnny Martin.

He’s thrilled to be filming in Mobile.

“With a lot of the cities we go to is being able to provide a movie with the best streets and the best quality for the movie. But the first street that I saw here was Royal Street and that street, I had to do my chase scene. It’s tight. The buildings are beautiful. And the city has been so cooperative. They’ve allowed us to shut down the streets to film this great chase scene,” said Martin.

For some of the cast and crew, this is their first time in the Port City.

“I’m really used to the humidity, so I’m not affected, and the Southern hospitality is great,” said Tom Waite.

Waite is Cage’s stunt double in the film. He’s from Florida but said Mobile has been a real treat so far.

“Everybody’s really friendly. In LA, when people are friendly, you’re always like: what do you want? Down here everyone is just very friendly. It’s great!” said Waite.

Producer Michael Mendelsohn said being in Mobile allows the crew to help out local communities.

“We want to apologize to the citizens and residents of Mobile for blocking off some of their streets. We’re trying to bring business to the town, and jobs. We’ve hired over 200 people here and really appreciate that Mobile is such a good place,” said Mr. Mendelsohn.

For producer Richard Rionda Del Castro, it was a no-brainer to come to Mobile – even though it was a quick decision. Thanks to the Alabama Film Office, they are here filming for six weeks.

“They have been extremely efficient in our needs, securing out location. So Michael and I took the decision. In 48 hours to come to Alabama,” said Del Castro.

Kathy Faulk is the manager of the Alabama Film Office.

“When I look around this room, and see all these people working, I’ve talked to so many of them from Alabama, from these parts, it just warms my heart to see this industry here and see all these people working,” said Faulk.

She said bringing movie production to the state means more jobs and an economic boom to the area.

“We have a lot going on lately, but this is the biggest thing to date under the incentive, so we’re thrilled. We hope everyone realizes this is a real industry now. It’s creating jobs and that’s what this is all about. We’re very excited,” said Faulk.

Members of the cast and crew are excited that the production of the film is here in Mobile.

“This is my first time to come back to Alabama and film,” said Michael Papajohn.

Papajohn is a native-Alabamaian. From Spider-Man to Transformers and The Dark Knight Rises, he’s seen it all. In “Tokarev”, he plays “Vory.”

“It means everything to me. To live here, the quality of life. The food, the people, SEC football, SEC sports. I’m on the set meeting the girl who’s doing my makeup, and she lives in Mobile, you know, and that’s what’s really, really cool that you don’t have to move to Los Angeles. You don’t have to move to New York. You can actually be right here because of these tax incentives that Alabama is doing,” he said.

Those tax incentives are what helped land the film in Alabama.

Mendelsohn is pleased to be filming here.

“Richard and I discussed several many factors. Financial incentives have been improved. We created the creative aspects of shooting a picture in Alabama, and the physical aspects. Would our talent be comfortable in Alabama? We brought on young people that are just getting into the film business and trying to teach them how to work with major stars,” said Mendelsohn.

“There’s a smile on my face between takes that I’ve never had before, if that makes sense. You know, just because I’m home. Alabama: home sweet home, brother!” said Papajohn.

Cast and crew will be in Mobile through July. “Tokarev” is due out next year.

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