A new fishing thriller—yes, you read that right—just debuted on Paramount+. As reported by National Fisherman, Finestkind is a drama involving the commercial fishing industry and organized crime set against a Massachusetts backdrop. Taking place in and around the cities of Fairhaven and New Bedford, the new film is the rare Massachusetts production not centered in Boston.
The Finestkind Fishermen
Finestkind stars Toby Wallace as college graduate Charlie, who finds himself joining his Half Brother Tom (Ben Foster) on the commercial fishing boat “Finestkind.” The brother’s relationship is strained after a fishing mishap results in the two of them suddenly needing some quick cash and lots of it. The brothers are forced to begrudgingly look to a local organized crime syndicate for help.
Stars Tommy Lee Jones And Jenna Ortega
The movie also stars Tommy Lee Jones as Charlie’s grizzled old salt of a father and Jenna Ortega as a woman with a mysterious past. Writer and director Brian Helgeland gave Finestkind an authentic New England aesthetic by filming on location in the New Bedford area. The movie features scenes set in homes in the city’s South and North ends as well as Fairhaven Bridge, Rasputin’s Tavern, Moriarty Liqwuors, and even Union Wharf.
Finestkind Helmer’s And New England
Brian Helgeland is no stranger to films set in his native New England, having previously written the screenplay for the 2003 Boston-based thriller Mystic River. Nor is Helgeland a novice when it comes to crime movies, having written and directed both the 1999 Mel Gibson revenge flick Payback and Legend (2015), a biopic revolving around notorious London Gangsters the Kray brothers. In Finestkind, Helgeland is able to combine both of these elements to great effect.
Perfect For Fans Of The Perfect Storm
Anyone even remotely familiar with New England knows that fishing is a big part of the community. With so many cities and towns set along the Atlantic coastline, it only makes sense that Massachusettes, in particular, would have a large commercial fishing community. One coastal city in particular, Gloucester—rhymes with “roster” for all the non-Massholes reading this—was the subject of the 2000 disaster epic The Perfect Storm.
Between The Perfect Storm‘s doomed boat of fishermen and Finestkind‘s desperate pair of fisherman brothers, it’s safe to say that if a movie is set in a coastal Massachusettes town and revolves around the fishing industry, the characters involved are going to have a bad time. Jaws is also set in Massachusetts, so maybe just being set near the Boston part of the Atlantic Ocean is enough to doom a film’s cast, fishing or not.
Jake Gyllenhaal And Zendaya Were Originally Attached
Finestkind was originally announced in 2018 with Jake Gyllenhaal and Zendaya attached to star. The two dropped out when the movie appeared to be stuck in development hell, resulting in Wallace and Jenna Ortega replacing them when the movie finally began filming last year.
One person who didn’t enjoy filming Finestkind is cinematographer Paul Charbonnet. Charbonnet alleges that he was hired to shoot some drone shots for the film for the sum of $25,000. Not only does Charbonnet claim that he was never paid the $25,000 the cinematographer but that during the course of the chaotic shoot, several crew members were injured, and he lost $19,000 in equipment.
101 Studios, the studio that produced Finestkind, has yet to comment on Charbonnet’s accusations.