NEWARK, N.J. - Newark and other New Jersey towns play a starring role in the upcoming HBO mini-series The Plot Against America. The six-part series, based on the Philip Roth novel of the same name, imagines an alternate American history, told through the eyes of a working-class Jewish family in New Jersey as they watch the political rise of aviator and xenophobic populist Charles Lindbergh. In this fictional scenario, he becomes president and turns the nation towards fascism. The program, co-adapted by David Simon and Ed Burns (The Wire), premieres on March 16.
Pulitzer-Prize winner Roth, who died in 2018, set his 2004 novel in the Weequahic section of Newark, where he grew up. Winona Ryder (Stranger Things), John Turturro (The Night Of), Zoe Kazan (The Big Sick), Morgan Spector (Homeland) and Anthony Boyle (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) head the cast.
1940s America was brought to life on Commerce Street and the National Newark Building on Broad Street in Newark and at Temple Beth-El, a synagogue on Kennedy Boulevard in Jersey City. Filming also took place at many additional locations in Clifton, Cranford, East Orange, Elizabeth, Englewood, Hoboken, Jersey City, Lyndhurst, Maplewood, Orange, Paterson, Prospect Park, Union Township and Union.
“Since we implemented our Film & Digital Media Tax Credit, New Jersey has become a hotbed for major productions,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “As an adaptation of the work of New Jersey’s own Philip Roth, The Plot Against America could not be a more fitting production for our state. I am looking forward to seeing this, and the many more series and films that will be produced and set in New Jersey with this program.”
“This project is another example of the benefits film and television productions bring to the Garden State,” Secretary of State Tahesha Way said. “More than 1,000 local production crew members were employed during filming, meaning they had the opportunity to work in their home state. The production also highlights the state’s many locales and will likely draw other productions to New Jersey.”
“We are delighted that HBO chose to film much of The Plot Against America where it was set and where Philip Roth, a favorite son of Newark, was raised,” said Michael Uslan, Chairman of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission. He noted that Newark was recently named among the best places for filmmakers to live and work by MoneyMaker magazine.
Many additional productions have been filmed in New Jersey during the past year, generating over $350 million for the state economy and creating thousands of jobs. HBO reported hiring over 1,000 local crew members for the filming of The Plot Against America accruing over $31 million in costs for labor, goods and services.
Motion picture and television production in the state has increased dramatically since the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act took effect in 2018. Governor Phil Murphy recently signed legislation to extend the program to 2028, and increased the annual program cap to $100 million.
“Tax incentives continue to attract marquee productions to New Jersey,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. “This latest premiere is another example of their value to our economy and to Governor Phil Murphy’s focus on growing a stronger and fairer economy.”
About the New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission
The NJMPTC, which falls under the New Jersey Department of State’s Business Action Center, is staffed by industry professionals and serves as a resource for production companies. The Commission promotes film and television production in New Jersey.