750 Extras Needed For ‘Prisoners’

The movie will be set in Derby, using the Derby seal, Derby road signs and Derby police insignia.

And they’ll need 750 extras.

Those were some of the details revealed Thursday night about “Prisoners,” the thriller from director Antoine Fuqua.

The Derby Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to allow the movie producers and Warner Bros., the movie’s distributor, to use Derby’s name in the movie — and any of its sequels.

Furthermore, Mayor Anthony Staffieri asked and received assurances from the producers that Derby and its residents won’t be depicted in a negative light in the film, which is described as a thriller in the vein of “Mystic River,” the highly-acclaimed 2003 flick directed by Clint Eastwood.

Shooting starts in February in Derby and Shelton, according to Sheila O’Malley, the city’s economic development director.

John Starke, the movie’s executive director, sent a letter to Staffieri outlining the film’s plot — and promising not to make Derby or Shelton look bad.

“I’m writing this letter not only to thank you for your and Mayor Lauretti’s help so far, but also to assure you that in no way is your town, local police or residents of the town depicted in any negative way in the script,” Starke wrote.

“I’m a lot more confident now that they have put it down in black and white,” Staffieri said.

The production company will be in contact with city officials about the logistic of the shoot, which will close some Derby streets.

If Derby workers are needed, such as police officers for traffic control, the production will reimburse the city, Staffieri said.

Fuqua, the film’s director, is best known for guiding Denzel Washington to best actor Academy Award in “Training Day.”

“Prisoners” is about two families who live across the street from each other, according to Starks’ letter.

“These lifelong friends are thrust into turmoil when their two youngest daughters go missing. The movie centers on the family’s desperation in finding their children with the help of their neighbors and local police force; especially one police detective,” Stark wrote.

The producer’s letter mentions the need for up to 750 extras. Those extras will come from the Naugatuck Valley, Starke wrote.

O’Malley said the casting calls for extras will likely take place in January.

Actors who’ve been considered for leading roles include Russell Crowe, Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg, who previously worked with Fuqua on 2007’s “Shooter,” an action flick.

Local officials said they’ve been told Hugh Jackman is attached to the movie. The “Prisoners” script is considered a hot commodity — and was named one of the best unproduced scripts of 2009.

Chrystie Street Casting posted a casting call for the movie Dec. 4.

Three people are wanted to play reporters in bit parts.

Read our initial “Prisoners” story.


posted by: Astronaut on December 24, 2009  12:30pm

This is a good situation for the city of Derby. Hopefully it will bring some business to the city while the movie is being made.