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De Niro cheaps out on Connecticut high schools

Posted by: Ted Mann - Posted in Al Pacino, Bridgeport, Righteous Kill, Robert De Niro on Sep 05, 2007

denirox.jpgDon’t get me wrong, I’m delighted that the Pacino-De Niro movie “Righteous Kill” is filming so close to home. It’s like having a three-week long lunar eclipse in the next-door neighbor’s yard. But the news that the production company, set to begin filming tomorrow in Bridgeport, only agreed to pay $2,000 a day to rent Harding High School and $1,000 to get the McKinley School’s cafeteria gave me a case of — pardon the pun — righteous indignation.

When renting a house in the suburbs, it’s common for film crews to pay upwards of $30k for a couple weeks. I’d wager that the house the “Righteous Kill” crew is filming at up in New Haven, at 801 Orange St. (source: New Haven Register), is fetching about that. And here in Bridgeport we’re talking about an entire school. Two schools, in fact!

According to the CT Post, the film will turn “Harding High School’s weight room into a precinct gym, its faculty men’s room into a night club bathroom and the school’s main gym into, well, a high school gym.” And all this is going on while school is in session — Sept. 6 through 10 and on Sept. 24 at Harding and on Oct. 1 at McKinley.

I’m sure the students will love it. (Incidentally, if any of you kids are reading this, cell phone pics of any of the stars — De Niro, Pacino, 50 Cent, Carla Gugino, Donnie Wahlberg, and Martin Scorsese — would be much appreciated. Email them HERE.)

But you’d think that the film could have at least forked over enough for the schools to afford a free lunch of Salisbury steak or sloppy joes. Can you think of a better way to spend that “Stardust” blood money?

(AP Photo/Marco Garcia)