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HBO Max Series "Duster" could bring $65 million economic boost to Tucson

HBO Max show coming to Tucson.jpg
Posted at 8:40 AM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 11:40:03-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The rumors have been circulating for months about an HBO Max series being filmed in Tucson.

There have even been calls for extras for a pilot being shot in the Old Pueblo.

KGUN 9 has learned what the series is and the major economic impact it could have on the region.

"I think it's incredible after 25 years of inactivity," said veteran Tucson filmmaker Mark Headley.

He is reacting to a new HBO Max series set to be filmed in the Old Pueblo, following more than a two-decade drought of Hollywood productions.

Multiple sources in the Tucson film industry have confirmed to KGUN 9 that the HBO Max series is called "Duster."

According to Variety, "Duster" is set in the 1970s Southwest and explores the life of a getaway driver for a growing crime syndicate.

The HBO Max series is co-written by J.J. Abrams and reunites Abrams with former "Lost" star Josh Holloway. Holloway will play the lead in "Duster."

Actor Josh Holloway will star in the HBO Max series "Duster" being filmed in Tucson.
Actor Josh Holloway will star in the HBO Max series "Duster" being filmed in Tucson.

It begins production later this month. With the production comes a big boost to the Tucson film industry.

"It's work for everybody," Headley said. "There are over a hundred different jobs in a film production that comes here. A lot of people are getting hired. As I said, I don't know what the exact budget of Duster is, the film coming from HBO/Warner Brothers, but it's huge."

To entice the HBO Max series "Duster" to film in Tucson, the state has awarded a portion of a $9.4 million Visit Arizona Initiative Partnership grant to the production company.

The state says the project is estimated to have a $65 million economic impact in the first year of a potential multi-year production.

They say the exposure the series brings to Tucson can provide a significant tourism boom, like "Breaking Bad" did for New Mexico and "Yellowstone" is now doing for Montana.

"People are going to want to see where this series is shot," explained Headley. "So, people will be coming here and spending money."

Headley says he's pleased to finally see the state of Arizona, as well as Rio Nuevo in Tucson, kick in money to attract productions. He believes it will help to revitalize the film industry here.

Tucson has a long history with Hollywood and the film industry. From westerns shot at Old Tucson and Mescal Movie Set — to classic 1980s hits filmed all around Tucson like "Major League" and Can't Buy Me Love."

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