Upcoming HBO series films locally

Upcoming HBO series films locally

After a young girl is murdered, Pennsylvania detective Mare Sheehan investigates the case while dealing with personal troubles in a new HBO series entitled “Mare of Easttown.”

The new series, set to premiere in 2021, is filming in Aston, Coatesville, Phoenixville and other areas in Philadelphia’s suburbs. Joining lead Kate Winslet are Julianne Nicholson, Evan Peters and Angourie Rice. Gavin O’Connor will direct according to HBO’s series description. After the film crew arrived in town for pre-production in August, filming began in November and is expected to end in April 2020.

Writer and creator of the show, Brad Ingelsby, said he hopes to pick up on the characteristics of the area and represent the region in an authentic and recognizable way. Ingelsby grew up in Berwyn and went to Tredyffrin/Easttown Middle School, later attending Archbishop John Carroll High School in Radnor, with his father as the team basketball coach. 

Ingelsby started writing the series in the summer of 2018 and spent eight months writing all the episodes. His aim is to write about home and tell the story about the rhythms and lifestyles of the people in the area in an entertaining way.

“I want to write about the rituals of how I grew up, the people I grew up with and the experiences I had as a kid. The people and characters in the show come from a very specific place in my own life,” Ingelsby said.

Despite having many characteristics of this region, hardly any scenes of the series have been filmed in the namesake, Easttown Township. Chief of Police of Easttown Township David Obzud explains that the filming of the show has made little tangible impact in our community.

“Even though (the series) has taken our name, nothing has happened here. There’s no shooting. There’s no road closures,” Obzud said.

The main studio is a vacant Kmart in Thorndale. All of the scenes in the series have been filmed a half-hour from the main studio in locations around Easttown.

“The Easttown in the show is a bit more of a blend of a number of places. It’s sort of more blue-collar than the real Easttown,” Ingelsby said. “We certainly love that we get to shoot where (the show) happens. That’s such a luxury that you don’t often get.”

Ingelsby believes that specific features about the way of life and traditions of the area will give the series’ watchers a better understanding of the community.

“The details in the show, like the Wawas, the Eagles, the pizza shop, the hoagies speak to this sort of region. I think when people watch the show, they’ll recognize this place and hopefully those details will help to sell the show,” Ingelsby said.

Obzud believes that the series will affect Easttown’s name and reputation once it is released but will have little influence on township residents.

“I think no matter what, we’re going to be linked to (the series). People will associate us with it, and maybe we’ll see an uptick in general questions, but I don’t think it’s going to impact us greatly one way or another,” Obzud said.