Swan City meets the big screen: 6 movies filmed in and around Lakeland

Films and movies that were shot on location in Lakeland from the ‘90s to now.

Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium | Photo by @ahjaxx

Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium | Photo by @ahjaxx

Swan City has served as the backdrop for several notable movies over the years. We rounded up a few of our favorites to give you the behind-the-scenes scoop. Let’s roll the film.

🎬 Eccentric director Tim Burton brought the world of “Edward Scissorhands” to Lakeland in 1990. Eagle-eyed viewers can spot the Southgate Shopping Center arch in several scenes.

🎬 The 1992 comedy “Mr. Baseball” was partially filmed at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. The film features Hollywood icon Tom Selleck, who plays a veteran player traded to a team in Japan.

🎬 Prior to its closing in 2009, Cypress Gardens served as a location for the film “Grace is Gone“starring John Cusack. It also served as the backdrop for several more films, including “Easy to Love” with Esther Williams.

🎬 “The Waterboy,” featuring Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates, and Henry Winkler, was filmed in various locations throughout the city. One scene in particular was shot in Edge Hall at Florida Southern College, and used students as extras in the background.

🎬 In 2018, Disney filmed “The One and Only Ivan” in Lakeland. The movie is based on Katherine Applegate’s novel of the same title, which won the John Newbery Medal. The production company also leased space at Southwest Elementary School. The film includes actor Bryan Cranston, known for his work in “Breaking Bad.”

🎬 Local filmmaker Kevin O’Brien released a Lakeland-made full length film in 2018 titled “At the End of the Day.” The film, which was featured at the 29th Annual Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, was captured at several notable spots in the Swan City. It’s available on Apple TV, Amazon Prime, and Google Play.

🎬 In 2019 the groundbreaking documentary “Fly Like a Girl” was released after being filmed in Lakeland. Lakeland’s own award-winning Indie Atlantic Films produced the documentary. See the Forbes review of the film here.

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