WILDWOOD - Next year's hot new Boardwalk attraction is already in the making - the tram car Hollywood actress Jennifer Connelly drove.
The popular tram cars - part of countless Wildwoods vacations since June 1949 - have been tapped to appear in "What's Wrong with Virginia?" a movie starring Connelly that is being filmed in Michigan.
"This is the first time the tram cars are hitting the big screen," said Patrick Rosenello, executive director of the Wildwoods Boardwalk Special Improvement District. But, he added, "They did have a role in a 'Sex in the City' episode about 10 years ago."
Two tram engines and three tram trailers (the trams'seating compartments) will make the trip to South Haven, Mich., this week via tractor trailer along with two improvement district employees. The movie production company is paying all the expenses, Rosenello said.
Rosenello said he got a call this summer from a movie production company looking to film in Wildwood. A crew came during the annual New Jersey State Firemen's Convention and filmed background scenes, but Connelly didn't take part.
Instead, the tram she will drive is being sent to her.
Rosenello said he spoke with the director, Lance Black, who recalled spending childhood summers at the shore.
"He literally wrote the tram car into the script," Rosenello said, adding that the famous warning "Watch the tram car, please" is also expected to be part of the movie.
The improvement district, which has been operating the trams since the summer of 2004, didn't charge for the use of the trams, Rosenello said.
"This is a significant piece of marketing and advertising," he said of the trams' movie debut.
After all, who wouldn't want to ride the tram car Jennifer Connelly drove.
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