NORWOOD PARK — Like many Chicagoans, Lana and Andy Wachowski will go out of their way to make a trip to Superdawg to grab what many natives believe is the best Chicago hot dog.
But when the siblings — the brains behind "The Matrix" trilogy — traveled to Norwood Park this week, the duo brought a cast and crew of nearly 200 to film scenes for their new Netflix sci-fi drama "Sense8" at the famed drive-through restaurant.
"We're thrilled they chose Superdawg," said Superdawg co-owner Scott Berman, whose parents Maurie and Flaurie founded the restaurant at 6363 N. Milwaukee Ave. in 1948. "They eat here all the time."
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While Superdawg is no stranger to the limelight, with many food-focused shows drawn by the drive-thru's iconic status and the two 12-foot hot dogs named Maurie and Flaurie on its roof, the "Sense8" production was the largest to ever film at the restaurant, Berman said.
"It was an enormous event," Berman said. "There were so many moving pieces."
The crew filmed for about four hours on Monday despite the rain, and for another four hours Wednesday in bright sunlight, Berman said.
"They could not have been nicer people," Berman said. "They really treated us like we were part of their cast-and-crew family."
Superdawg's car hops kept slinging Superdawgs and Whoopercheesies during the shoot, Berman said, since producers wanted background noise and activity.
"We directed traffic around the shoot, and asked our customers not to stare at the filming," Berman said. "Everyone did a great job."
The production from the Wachowskis and "Babylon 5" creator J. Michael Straczynski has filmed all over the city, including a high-speed car chase and crash in Uptown, near Wrigley Field and in Lakeview.
"Sense8," expected to debut next year on Netflix, is a 10-episode series that follows eight characters from across the globe who, after a tragic death, find themselves linked mentally and emotionally. The characters “not only see and talk to each other as though they were in the same place, they have access to each other’s deepest secrets," Straczynski told Deadline.com.
With the future of humanity hanging in the balance, the characters have to figure out what happened — while being hunted by a mysterious organization, according to Straczynski's description.
The cast includes Chicago's own Daryl Hannah, who starred in the "Kill Bill" movies, Naveen Andrews from "Lost" and Freema Agyeman from "Doctor Who."
But don't ask Berman what role Superdawg will play in the show or its plot.
"We have no idea," Berman said, laughing. "We just watched them, walking back and forth."
Berman just hopes Superdawg's role in "Sense8" doesn't get left on the cutting room floor, like the restaurant's role in the 1984 Brat Pack classic "Sixteen Candles."
"All that was left of our was a tray on the hood of a car after the night of partying in 'Sixteen Candles,'" Berman said. "We'll be watching to see what happens in 'Sense8'."
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