TAGHKANIC — Producers are keeping the plot under wraps, but it’s no mystery that an acclaimed independent director is filming a new movie with a star-studded cast at the local West Taghkanic Diner on Route 82.
The New York City-based director Jim Jarmusch is shooting a zombie comedy with the working title “The Dead Don’t Die,” and it is sparking positive response from local officials and businesses.
Production designers were transforming the diner at 1016 Route 82 into a movie set Monday, and started filming at 6 a.m. Tuesday.
“They will be filming through Friday mostly in the heart of the town, and mostly at the diner,” Taghkanic Town Supervisor Ryan Skoda said. “It is interesting, especially if the movie goes mainstream. This certainly gets the town’s name out there. If the movie is a hit, it will be good publicity for the diner and hopefully will help their business.”
Skoda may not have to worry about how well the movie does because Jarmusch has directed such well-received films as “Broken Flowers” (2005) starring Bill Murray, and the ingenious anthology “Night on Earth” (1991).
Jarmusch’s latest movie boasts a who’s-who of the director’s repertory company including Murray, Adam Driver (the poetry-writing bus driver in the acclaimed “Paterson”), Chloë Sevigny, Tilda Swinton (the devoted vampire wife in Jarmusch’s unjustly ignored “Only Lovers Left Alive”), Steve Buscemi and Selena Gomez, a newcomer to Jarmusch’s productions, according to a press release from Focus Features.
Filming at the West Taghkanic Diner took place Tuesday until 8 p.m., Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and will continue today and Friday.
“They said they filmed at Lake Taghkanic and in Elizaville before this, and may go back to Lake Taghkanic after this,” said Carlo Macri, owner of Jo Jo’s Pizza and Ice Cream across Route 82 from the diner. “I heard there are going to be a couple big names in this movie.”
The production company dropped off a warning to the neighboring businesses Aug. 10, giving notice of when the cameras will be rolling and that traffic will be stopped periodically on the small section of road for certain scenes throughout filming Tuesday and Wednesday.
“I am worried about how their shutting down the road will affect business,” Macri said Wednesday. “We will see how it goes.”
The production company contracted with the state Department of Transportation and the state police to close the road down between the Taconic State Parkway ramp and Livingston Road, according to the notice provided to neighboring businesses.
Two state troopers will be posted at the set all day throughout the filming, State Police Capt. Kathryne Rohde said.
“We will be there from the morning until the evening when they conclude filming,” Rhode said. “Based on the filming schedule we will be closing the road intermittently. There has not been any trouble yet.”
Darshan Kaur owns the Getty station next door to the diner, where the production company has been parking vehicles.
“I like having them film here,” Kaur said. “They are nice. It is good for business. Why not? They are buying stuff here.”
Members of the production crew refused to comment about the film or its plot.