Many stood in the historic Woodstock Square on Saturday, watching as actor Bill Murray – star of the film “Groundhog Day” – returned to the city to shoot what reportedly was a commercial for Jeep.
However, the company that owns Jeep is staying mum about the details.
In a statement posted on its website on Wednesday, its parent company, FCA US, said the Jeep brand will debut one 60-second commercial during this Sunday’s Super Bowl game telecast.
“Viewers will have to watch closely to see the commercial,” according to the statement. “The timing/when the spot will air within the telecast will not be announced beforehand.”
“Groundhog Day,” which was released in 1993, features Murray as a TV meteorologist who finds himself stuck reliving the same day – Groundhog Day – in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
Along with Murray, those around the Square Saturday also saw the actor who played the mayor in “Groundhog Day,” Brian Doyle-Murray, as well as actor Stephen Tobolowsky, who played the character “Needlenose Ned” Ryerson.
The commercial was filmed eight days before the Super Bowl, which falls on Groundhog Day this year.
Staples from the movie, such as the WPBH 9 Action News van and a red pickup truck similar to the one his character drives away in when he steals a groundhog and later drives off a cliff, could be seen during Saturday’s filming in downtown Woodstock.
During filming for the commercial, Murray even was wearing the same long jacket he wore in the movie.
Kristine Austin, sales and marketing manager for Visit McHenry County, said “lots of people” come to Woodstock for the village’s annual Groundhog Day festivities, including those from other countries. Although she said it was difficult to say what kind of effect the new commercial will have on tourism or visitors coming to the area, Austin said it will “hopefully be positive.”
• Photo Editor Matt Apgar contributed to this report