3 Unbelievable Post-Production Transformations for Downtown Worcester


"Free Guy"

Starring fan favorite Ryan Reynolds, parts of “Free Guy” were filmed in and around Worcester's Brew on the Grid, an authentic artisan cafe and neighborhood staple. (Local's tip: Worcester Beer Garden sits next door, if you're looking for a different kind of beverage.) For the film, Portland & Franklin Streets, across from Worcester Common, were transformed for an epic car chase, as well as set-up explosions, fake gunshots and a bus marked “Free Bus System.” The cast & crew also used several storefronts along the street for equipment, makeup and other related production work. In the fictional Free City, Guy (Reynolds) is the leading man playing a non-player character (NPC) working as a bank teller. Thanks to a program developed by Milly (Comer) and Keys (Keery) inserted into Free City by the publisher Antoine (Waititi), Guy becomes aware of his world being a video game, and takes steps to make himself the hero, creating a race against time to save the game before the developers can shut it down.

Gamers, check out Free Play Bar and Pixels & Pints Arcade Bar

"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever"

In the summer of 2021, Marvel Studios closed down more than a dozen streets in Worcester for partial production of the highly acclaimed "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever." The crew also shot at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, in addition to filming parts of a car chase scene both in Worcester and in Boston. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported that in the final cut, involving the car chase scene, viewers can see the Worcester Central District Courthouse and the Johnson Tunnel at Lincoln Square (with the scene supposedly taking place in Cambridge however). Although not visible on screen, Worcester filming took place on sections of Main Street in front of the locally acclaimed deadhorse hillan eatery inspired by the New England landscape, and the historic Mechanics Hall, whose distinct architecture landed it on the National List of Historic Places.

Click here to discover the historic venues of Central Massachusetts. 

"Honest Thief"

Directed by Mark Williams, “Honest Thief” casts Liam Neeson as a bank robber who tries to go straight, yet realizes that federal agents are more corrupt than he ever was. In the fall of 2019, the “Taken” star and Oscar & Golden Globe-nominated actor several scenes of "Honest Thief" in Worcester: at the AC Marriott hotel, City Hall, Federal Square, Main Street, and the 200 Block of Commercial Street, among others. Filmmakers staged a car crash in the Salisbury and Lancaster streets in Worcester, and scenes were also shot in Oxford, Fitchburg, Leicester and Boston. 

If you're staying in the area, click here for a list of major attractions near local hotels.