WINDHAM — Production crews swarmed Windham and Hensonville this week, transforming the town hall, local restaurants, intersections and a quarry into settings for the third season of Marvel’s “Daredevil” Netflix series, town officials confirmed Wednesday.
“It’s definitely Netflix and the ‘Daredevil’ series,” said Windham Town Supervisor Robert Pelham, adding that he heard crews are filming season 3 episode 9 but wasn’t told that detail directly by production staff.
Daredevil was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Bill Everett. The character first appeared in Daredevil No. 1 published in April 1964. He is known to fans as “The Man Without Fear.” In 2003, Ben Affleck played the character in the feature film “Daredevil.”
Season 1 premiered April 10, 2015.
The cast of the Netflix series includes Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, Rosario Dawson and Vincent D’Onofrio.
The hero, lawyer Matthew “Matt” Murdock, is blinded by a radioactive substance that falls from a truck after he pushes a man to safety from the oncoming vehicle. Although sightless, Murdock’s exposure to the radiation heightens his remaining senses beyond normal human ability and gives him a radar sense and superhuman agility and strength.
Ringside Filming planned to begin shooting in Windham on March 26 and continue for five to seven weekdays with about 150 crew members, according to Ringside Filming representatives Rocco Nisivoccia and Frank Trotta from Windham Town Board meeting minutes.
Nisivoccia and Trotta spoke with council members regarding safety procedures and possible locations for the third season of their show, according to the town board minutes from March 8.
At the regular town board meeting, they expressed interested in using the Catskill Mountain Country Store as a diner and filming an overnight car crash at the west end portion of Route 12. They were also scouting locations to fly a remote-controlled airplane and the inside of a quarry, according to the board minutes.
By Wednesday afternoon, Windham Town Hall on Route 296 was already moonlighting as Fagan Corners Town Hall with the original sign replaced. A ‘Welcome to Fagan Corners, VT’ sign was also spotted leaning against a house on Route 296, and several crew members were tacking boards on the doors at Fitness Concepts to make it appear abandoned.
As of last week, the crew planned to film a drive-by scene on Route 296 featuring the show’s lead actress, according to an email from the production company to the town clerk and Lt. Adam Brainard with the Greene County Sheriff's Office.
Crew members on site said they could not confirm details about the shoot, or the name of the show, citing a non-disclosure contract.
The first two seasons of Marvel Netflix’s crime drama were primarily filmed in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan, according to the movie website International Movie Database.
“They were doing something with our helicopter pad,” Pelham said Wednesday. “I warned them that it’s for emergency use, but the chances of us needing it on Wednesday afternoon are slim, but I said they’re welcome to use it.”
Ths show’s team expanded to more sites including ski areas and the country club for staging, Pelham said. They did not need to apply to the town council directly for permits.
“I think it’s a great thing for the town,” Pelham said. “Anything that can get Windham noticed for more than just skiing is a good thing. It’s good for business and good for everyone.”
The film team paid to renovate the inside of the Catskill Mountain Country Store, Pelham said.
“It put that store on the map in a different way,” he said.
As street parking spaces filled up with crew cars Wednesday, many local residents said they were excited to see their town showcased on screen.
“I heard it was ‘Daredevil’ by word-of-mouth, but when they passed out the papers, it said Netflix series R3,” resident Serena Astle said, referring to a notice restricting parking on Wednesday. “I think it’s a good thing for the town."
“It would be nice to see the town on film.” Hensonville resident Billi Bush said.
Wendy Krom, a Hensonville resident of 40 years, said this is the first film crew she’s ever seen in town. She noticed production crews packing in and out of the Country Store in Windham this week, but didn’t know about filming on Route 296.
“I think it’s pretty nice,” Krom said. “They can portray our beautiful small town to other people.”
“I saw film crew [members] in Nunzio’s,” said Windham police officer Dave Sherman. “It’s great they’re patronizing the local businesses.”
“I’m excited,” Jessika Schreiber, co-owner of ‘Ze Windham Wine Bar, said. “I think it’s nice for a small community like Windham to have people coming in. There’s been several articles about how hip it is to be here, so if it can bring people up here to the Catskills and all the small businesses, I think it’s great.”
One of the show’s stuntmen, who specializes in car chases, visited the Windham wine bar this week and spoke with her daughter, Schreiber said.
The state Department of Transportation issued a special use permit to Touchstone Studios, to replace a street sign at Route 296 and Maplecrest, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, state DOT spokesman Bryan Viggiani said.
“They’re working with local police to remove and replace road signs for filming and re-direct traffic around it,” Viggiani said.
It’s not unusual for production companies to approach the transportation department for permits, and the office tries to accommodate them without disrupting rush-hour traffic, Viggiani said. He was also told the name of the show, which he said was standard procedure.
“We have to understand what it’s for and make sure it’s allowable,” Viggiani said.
They ensure there is no public hazard, safety laws are enforced, that the film company is insured and they’ll restore the site to its original condition.
“We want to make sure it’s legitimate,” he said.
*Editor's note: This story corrects an earlier version that identified Adam Brainard as the Windham Police Chief.