Three new shows set up at Cinespace ready to roll

“Transformers” director Michael Bay will return to Chicago later this year to produce the fifth installment of his franchise, he told WGN’s Dean Richards.  But that’s only the tip of the iceberg!

Here’s what ReelChicago learned is ahead for our production market in the foreseeable future, all headquartering and filming at Cinespace.

Netflix TV’s second season of sci-fi “Sense8,” from EPs Andy and Lana Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski, prepares to shoot this Saturday and Sunday. Then, after shooting in locations around the world, the cast and crew returns to Chicago in June for 10 days, goes off again and comes back in October for another five days.

The cast numbered more than 255 in season one’s 12 episodes. 

The series was supposed to have been released in June, 2016, but due to scheduling delays, the date was pushed back to 2017.

Dreamworks’ brings its five-year-in-the-works comedy “Office Christmas Party” to fruition when it shoots here March 19 for two weeks.  The party that goes horribly awry was written by “The Hangover’s” Jon Lucas and Scott Moore and Will Speck and Josh Gordon (“Blades of Glory”) are directing.

Billy Higgins is the local UPM, while the line producer is Richard Vane, who worked for many years with John Hughes on several major projects, Steven Spielberg and Judd Apatow.

Amazon’s 2015 “Patriot” pilot from Chicago-based writer/director Steve Conrad was picked up for a series and the show is scheduled to start shooting here, from early February through March.

The thriller/family dramady stars Michael Dorman “The Water Diviner”) and Kathleen Munroe (“Resurrection”) as the leads, with Kurtwood Smith.

That said, stay tuned for upcoming news of pilots filming here this winter. 

On the spot side, Twist Productions out of Minneapolis shoots for Firehouse Submarine Sandwiches, and in a production twist,  LA-based MJZ director Irv Blitz will shoot tabletop for Firehouse at the same time.  At Essanay stages all next week.