Top Gun

Disney+'s ‘The Right Stuff' to Film in San Diego For Season 2

The Right Stuff drive-in series premiere
(Photo by Frank Micelotta/National Geographic)

San Diego will become the filming location for the second season of the streaming series "The Right Stuff," based on the 1960s U.S. space program, making Disney the latest studio to see the city as a filmmaking destination.

The city of San Diego announced Friday the series -- which tells the story of the early days of the U.S. space program and is based on the 1983 Academy Award-winning film and the bestselling book of the same names -- will shoot in the city for 88 days starting in March 2021. Exact locations have not yet been determined.

The San Diego Film Office said incentives through the California Film and TV Tax Credit Program, which provides tax credits for productions that stay in California, help get studios like Disney to film in America's Finest City. It is not clear if Disney has filed for the tax incentive.

Tom Cruise is in San Diego for the anticipated "Top Gun" sequel. NBC 7's Joe Little is at Naval Base Coronado with more.

“It’s great to see the state’s tax credit program bring high-quality jobs and significant production spending to San Diego,” said California Film Commission Executive Director Colleen Bell. “The City has a rich history of film and TV production and this exciting news is a big win for the local economy.” 

After being dismantled years earlier, the new-and-improved San Diego Film Office was established in 2015 and began marketing the region as the perfect destination for films -- year-round sunshine, several incentives, and a wide range of shooting locations -- with campaigns like "Set the Scene in San Diego."

The push led to a 40% increase in filming dates from 2017 to 2018, according to the city. 

San Diego has attracted thousands of productions from independent filmmakers to larger studios, the likes of Paramount Pictures, Vice, E! Network, Comedy Central, HBO and National Geographic, the city said. 

Most notably, San Diego in 2019 became the home to "Top Gun: Maverick," a sequel to the film that highlighted San Diego's elite Naval fighter pilots. The film, which showcases several San Diego sights, was scheduled to be released in June 2020 but was pushed to the summer of 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thanks to the studio's choice to film in San Diego, the city last year was ranked #16 by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the top 20 big cities for living and making films, an honor for the city that only began pushing filmmaking as an industry here years earlier.

But it's not new that productions have set San Diego as their filmmaking location. The history of movies in San Diego stretches back to 1898, according to the San Diego History Center. Other notable films include "Citizen Kane," the "Devil Dogs of the Air," "Some Like it Hot," "Top Gun," "Almost Famous" and "Traffic."

The San Diego Film Commission was behind bringing many major studios to San Diego but was dismantled due to budget cuts. The San Diego Film Office was born a few years later.

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