Batman and Superman are coming to (Mo)town.
In the midst of a dire economic recession, the state of Michigan was looking for a new industry to replace the closing auto plants that had carried the state’s employment burden for so many decades. Greed, outsourcing, and foreign competition had put the U.A.W. and the Big Three at odds and forced those still working to take concessions just to keep assembly lines open. The future was not bright for the once great Motor City. The area was dying, too reliant on the auto companies who were moving plants to Mexico, and in an attempt to change direction, much like Pittsburgh was forced to do when the steel industry suffered, they came up with a plan.
In April of 2008, then Governor Jennifer Granholm signed into law The Michigan Film and Digital Media Incentive. For the first 3 years the act was in place, it provided a tax incentive of 42% which knocked tens of millions off the production costs for several films. However, despite results that seemed to be helping the local economy, in 2011 new Governor Rick Snyder decided that a cap would need to be put in place, limiting the incentive to 25%. This move caused films like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises to pull up stakes and relocate to other locations for filming with more financial incentives.
It seemed like an end to a short era here in Metro Detroit that had seen movies like Gran Torino, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Scream 4, and Oz: the Great and Powerful, as well as hundreds of others filmed here. But now we’re seeing that, while the number of projects may have dropped off, there are still big pictures to be found. Currently filming downtown is Michael Bay’s Transformers 4, which has been awarded $20 million of the 2013 film budget, which is about $50 million in total.
Biggest news yet however, next year the Warner Brothers’ 2015 scheduled sequel to Man of Steel, which will also feature Batman, will film in Detroit next year with $35 million in state tax incentives. This is the largest amount given to any film since the cap was put into place in 2011.
“The movie, which will star Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman, expects to hire 406 Michigan workers. The MFO also said it would use about 500 Michigan vendors and spend $5.1 million on local hotels.”‘
“Detroit is a great example of a quintessential American city, and I know it will make the perfect backdrop for our movie,” - Director Zack Snyder
The summer of 2015 is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated summers ever, also featuring The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars: Episode VII, Fantastic Four, Terminator 5, and several other reboots, sequels, and prequels attesting to originality…