Local filming begins today for HBO Films Ali biopic

With filming for an HBO movie about the world’s most famous boxer set to begin in the region today,
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With filming for an HBO movie about the world’s most famous boxer set to begin in the region today, police are warning Albany commuters of road closures and letting Schenectady residents know they have nothing to worry about.

While the production will largely be based in New York City, HBO Films announced last month that it would be filming in and seeking extras from the Albany and Schenectady areas for its new movie, “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight.”

The film is set in the period after Ali (born Cassius Clay) was drafted and caused a firestorm of controversy over his refusal to enlist in the U.S. Army. He was barred from boxing and spent years trying to get reinstated.

Directed by Academy Award nominee Stephen Frears and written by Shawn Slovo, the movie is inspired by the Howard L. Bingham book of the same name, which detailed the Supreme Court deliberations as Ali pursued conscientious objector status.

The cast has a few big names, including Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer, who will be playing Supreme Court Associate Justice John Marshall Harlan II, Academy Award nominee Frank Langella as Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, and Emmy nominee Danny Glover as Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Schenectady police confirmed filming would take place Friday in the Stockade neighborhood, primarily on Front Street. An HBO spokeswoman said it would be a night shoot and unlikely to affect traffic.

Scenes will be shot today at three locations in Albany, shutting down roads throughout the day in certain neighborhoods.

A full list of Albany road closures and bus service changes is available under “travel advisories” HERE.

Categories: Schenectady County

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