Wu-Tang: An American Saga, the depiction following the formation of one of hip-hop’s most influential groups, first premiered in 2019. The show was originally supposed to only be 10-episodes showcasing the birth of the Wu-Tang Clan during the early 1990s, but the phenomenon turned into a 30-episode series with its third and final season currently airing on Hulu.
“Being a founder and abbot of the Wu, I’m always optimistic about our legacy,” RZA stated in a Rolling Stone interview. “We set out on a journey in 1993 with Enter the 36 Chambers and that journey continues 30 years later and we created 30 episodes of tv/cinema to expound upon our art, music, life joys and life struggles.”
Created by Wu-Tang Clan founder The RZA and screenwriter Alex Tse, the first season follows Bobby Diggs aka Rza and the other members as they struggle to create music while trying to survive in New York during the height of the cocaine pandemic.
Season two, centers around Diggs trying to steer the members in the right direction while they struggle with financial issues and life in the project. The group dives in deep, making their debut album, “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” and trying to get the attention of label executives.
In season three, we see the Clan reach fame as they move out of Staten Island and into a mansion in the woods of New Jersey and go on tour on the East Coast. But as we all know, with fame comes immense pressure and intensity which we see plenty of in this final season amongst the characters.
A priority for the production was to make sure the series showcased the authenticity of the New York 90s scenes from where Wu-Tang originated.
Luckily for us, New Jersey, or more specific North Jersey holds locations that doubles for Staten Island in the 90s.
“We shot at various locations across the state, many exteriors easily doubled for New York. New Jersey is the ideal state to shoot your series or feature, and lunch at Iberia’s in Newark is an extra treat,” stated Co-Executive Producer of Wu-Tang, Gail Barringer.
Filming in New Jersey has become easier in the last couple of years with the launch of the NJ Film and Digital Media Tax Credit.
“A single network series filming in New Jersey for a full season can generate as much as $100 million in local economic activity, and create hundreds of local jobs,” said Gov. Phil Murphy.
According to Imagine Television, about 275 crew members were hired for the filming of season two of Wu-Tang and generating millions of dollars in economic activity.
“New Jersey’s lucrative film tax incentive and cooperation with local towns drew us to the Garden State to film Wu-Tang: Season 2,” said Barringer.
Throughout the seasons, you may see familiar places as the cast filmed in East Orange, Elmwood Park, Kearny, Newark, Paterson, Plainfield and Secaucus.
Newark had a lot of locations to offer for seasons two and three. Some scenes were filmed in Military Park, Independence Park, Commerce Street, 33 Washington Street, 744 Broad Street, South Ward, Robert Treat Hotel, Symphony Hall, and Fever nightclub.
Additional scenes were filmed on North Arlington Avenue in East Orange, New Life Church in Elizabeth, Caso’s Gun-A-Rama in Jersey City, Montclair State University, and NJPAC.
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