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Thursday, May 30, 2024

‘Merv’ prepping in Carolina Beach to begin filming next week

Restaurants at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk are hoping to be allowed more space for their sidewalk dining (Port City Daily / FILE PHOTO)
‘Merv’ will shoot at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk in coming weeks. (Port City Daily/File)

PLEASURE ISLAND — Casting calls have been posted and film permits continue being secured for “Merv,” a rom-com starring Zooey Deschanel.

READ MORE: Casting call for ‘Merv,’ including Zooey Deschanel stand-in

The production is slated to begin rolling cameras next week in Kure Beach and Mervinator Productions now has submitted permits to neighboring Carolina Beach as well. It begins preparations Friday through the weekend to film at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk and The Starlite Inn.

According to permits obtained by Port City Daily, filming at The Starlite takes place April 19, 22, 24 and 26 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. A letter submitted to nearby businesses note the scenes include “simple dialogue and drive-up/away shots at the hotel,” void of “loud noises.”

Roads will not be blocked, though signage will be posted incrementally for no parking in certain areas to make room for production vehicles. This will affect the west side of North Lake Park Boulevard — roughly seven spaces near the inn — and the south side of 200 block of Cape Fear Boulevard’s seven to 18 spaces, depending on the day. 

Film crews also will set up on the boardwalk on April 22, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., near the pavilion and gazebo stage, as well as Hurricane Alleys. Scenes will take place at Christmastime, so there will be appropriate decor — wreaths and lights — transforming the area and some boardwalk businesses into the holiday season.

The boardwalk scene will not shut down area businesses and will only affect some passersby who may be asked to refrain from walking near cameras as they roll. Drone footage also will be captured on the boardwalk.

As well, the letter details cameras will be filming a dog fashion show. Calls have been put out over the last week for multiple stand-in and background actors, including dog walkers and dog owners.

“Merv,” penned by husband-and-wife writing team Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart and directed by Jessica Swale, follows the love affair of Russ and Anna, who have recently separated, leaving their shared fur-baby, Merv, depressed. When Russ takes the dog on vacation to cheer him up, they run into Anna, leading to what may be rekindled love.

The film is produced by LightWorkers Media and Matt Baer Films. Deschanel has been the only talent announced so far to star in the movie. 


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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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