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Tom Hanks film ‘A Man Called Otto’ is filming in Western New York

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A new Tom Hanks movie has been generating excitement over the weekend with film crews in Western New York.

WIVB reports “A Man Called Otto,” an upcoming movie starring Hanks, shot scenes at the Maid of the Mist and Moonlite Motel in Niagara Falls on Friday.

Buffalo Niagara Film Office’s Tim Clark told WGRZ that Hanks himself was not in Niagara Falls, but that his wife Rita Wilson and their youngest son, Truman Hanks, were in town. Wilson doesn’t appear to have an acting role in the project, but she and Tom Hanks are listed as producers, while Truman is set to play a younger version of his father in flashback scenes.

Although it shares a name with Syracuse University’s mascot, “A Man Called Otto” is unrelated to the League’s Otto the Orange. The plot centers on Tom Hanks as Otto, a grumpy pensioner who strikes up an unlikely friendship with his rowdy neighbors.

The film is an American remake of a Swedish comedy-drama based on Frederick Backman’s book, “A Man Called Ove”. Marc Foster (“Quantum of Solace”) is directing from a screenplay written by David Magee (“Life of Pi”); the cast also includes Rachel Keller, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Mariana Trevinio and comedian Mike Birbiglia.

“Otto” isn’t expected to be set primarily in western New York, but Clark said the scenes shot in Niagara Falls would be set there. The film was also shot in Toledo, Ohio, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“A lot of movies that we shoot don’t take place here,” Clark told WGRZ. “At least the part they shoot here happens here. We saw it in “Nightmare Alley” by Guillermo Del Toro. It was happening in Buffalo, and we’re seeing more and more of these productions wanting to not only shoot here, but also want to shoot the movie here. It’s an exciting part of this job.

“A Man Called Otto” is set to hit theaters on Christmas Day.

It’s one of at least three Hanks films slated for release this year. The two-time Oscar-winning actor will also play Geppetto in the live-action remake of Robert Zemeckis’ ‘Pinocchio’ for Disney, and Elvis Presley’s manager Col. Tom Parker in the upcoming ‘Elvis’ biopic, starring Austin Butler and directed by Baz Luhrmann.

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