Great Barrington — Visitors to Ski Butternut this weekend might have wondered what was going on with all the big rigs in the parking lot. A very big fireworks display set-up, in conjunction with the ski area’s Spring Fling? Supplies for a very big wedding, maybe? As it turns out, Hollywood has come to town.
The entire eastern side of the Ski Butternut parking lot, nearest the tubing hill, has been taken up by a dozen or so eighteen-wheelers, with “Paramount Pictures” printed on the side. It is, indeed, a big to-do. Filming for the studio’s feature Daddy’s Home 2 begins today in Great Barrington, with “base camp” established over the past few days at Butternut, and the main filming locale on Lover’s Lane, and other film-related infrastructure set up on Monument Valley Road. Lover’s Lane is closed to traffic, and as of Monday morning (March 20), was lined with tractor trailers. Filming is taking place in a large house on Lover’s Lane.
The original Daddy’s Home was filmed in New Orleans, and released on Christmas Day, 2015. It starred Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as, respectively, Brad Whitaker, the step-dad craving acceptance, and Dusty Mayron, the real dad, arriving home to throw a wrench in the works. Linda Cardellini co-starred, as well as World Wrestling Entertainment superstar John Cena. That film cost $69 million to make, and brought in over $240 million worldwide, Ferrell’s highest-grossing film to date outside of the U.S. The sequel will also star Ferrell, Wahlberg, and Cardellini, with two big gun additions of Mel Gibson and John Lithgow. John Cena will also return. It’s set to be released on November 10th, 2017.
The crew is staying at local hotelier Vijay Mahida’s Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott on State Road, with some of the talent at The Red Lion Inn. Industry reports say that filming should wrap up in late May, but it is not clear how long local filming will last. Phil Pryjma, who lives a few hundred yards from the site, on Monument Valley Road, says he was told the road would be closed for two to three weeks.
According to Pryjma, abutters and neighbors were not notified ahead of time of the need to detour. When he tried to turn onto Lover’s Lane, a police officer told him, “You can’t go through here. They’re doing construction.” When pressed further about the nature of the construction project, Pryjma got no answer. His son-in-law, he says, put two and two together. “Yeah, it’s called Husbands, or something, I don’t know. I always walk the dog on that road, but I’m not going to try to do that now.”