First Punisher Scenes Filmed

Tampa Bay's Bay News 9 had the honor of being the first shoot for the Punisher movie. Lucky local reporters Rick Elmhorst and Carleth Keyes were invited to play the roles of news anchors.
Hollywood has come to Tampa Bay.

Production has already started on the John Travolta film "The Punisher", and the first shot was at the Bay News 9 studios. Reporter Rick Elmhorst and Bay News 9 en Espanol anchor Carleth Keys were invited to play the roles of, ‘What else?’ -- news anchors.

"My goal is to simply make it into the movie so at least I have proof that I did it," said Elmhorst.

Writer/director Jonathan Hensleigh won't go into details about the film's plot but he did provide a hint.

"These are newscasts that will fit as part of the film -- reporting on a big action set piece that happens in the middle of the film," said Hensleigh.

The comic book-based hero movie will be shot almost entirely on location around Tampa Bay, which is exactly why producers wanted a local television station.

"It has its own visual stamp here that looks real rather than created by us in the studio," said Hensleigh.
Producers needed a local TV station for the shoot.

The scenes shot on Thursday will be seen on the big screen when the movie is released next summer, if they make the final cut.

"What really excites me the most is the fact they're actually showing a newscast in Spanish, so it kind of shows the diversity of our community," said Keys.

Principal filming on the movie begins next week. About 2,000 local background actors will also be used as extras in the film.
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Bay 9 News - Tampa