Arts & Entertainment, Economic Development, and Film

'Batman vs. Superman' films 'throughout' Michigan

August 29, 2013
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'Batman vs. Superman' films 'throughout' Michigan
The production of the film “Batman vs. Superman,” a working title, is expected to spend $131 million shooting in Michigan. Courtesy Warner Bros.

The long anticipated, epic battle between the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight will — at long last — finally go down across Michigan.

The untitled sequel to director Zack Snyder’s summer blockbuster “Man of Steel,” which is set for release in 2015, has been approved for a film incentive from the state of Michigan.

The film produced by Warner Brothers, DC Comics and Syncopy will feature DC comic book legends “Superman” and “Batman” making their historic first live action, on-screen appearance together.

This means that when “Superman” and “Batman,” arguably the greatest superheroes of all time, meet for the first time on camera, they could be standing or flying on soil in Detroit and “throughout Michigan” — soil that would no doubt become hallowed ground to comic book and movie fans across the globe.

Filming is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2014.

“This project will further strengthen the reputation of Michigan and metro Detroit as a premier film destination,” said Margaret O’Riley, director of the Michigan Film Office. “We look forward to the spotlight shining on our incredibly talented workforce and the businesses that support our film industry here in Michigan.”

$131M spent in Michigan

The film was awarded a $35-million incentive for $131 million of projected in-state expenditures.

The film production is expecting to hire 406 Michigan workers, with a full-time equivalent of 426 jobs and an additional 6,000 man/days of extra work, according to a Michigan Film Office announcement.

The Michigan Film Office said about 500 local Michigan vendors are expected to be used during the course of filming.

The production is expected to spend $5.1 million on local hotels, as well as $3.5 million on out-of-town cast and crew per-diem payments, which will be spent in the local economy and “fall out of the incentive program” tally.

Filming

Filming is expected to take place all over the state, but much of it will be in metro Detroit, which has been referred to as Gotham City by some as it works through bankruptcy.

“Detroit is a great example of a quintessential American city, and I know it will make the perfect backdrop for our movie,” said Snyder, who also directed the comic-based films “300” and “Watchmen.” “Detroit and the entire state of Michigan have been fantastic collaborators, and we are looking forward to working together on this film.”

“Batman vs. Superman”

The film, with the working title “Batman vs. Superman” or “Man of Steel 2,” is a sequel to this summer’s financially successful, but critically mixed-reviewed reboot of the "Superman" film franchise, starring Henry Cavill as “Superman.”

This summer’s “Man of Steel” went on to be a smash at the box office in June and has so far reportedly made about half a billion dollars in worldwide sales, according to Box Office Mojo.

The cast

The Michigan-shot sequel will bring back Cavill, as well as Amy Adams as “Lois Lane,” Laurence Fishburn as Daily Planet Editor-in-Chief “Perry White,” and Diane Lane as “Martha Kent.”

The Twitterverse exploded last week when director Snyder announced that Ben Affleck would follow Christian Bale as the new "Batman"/"Bruce Wayne," a controversial decision that led to an explosion of outrage and mockery, such as calls for Matt Damon to play “Robin”.

Bemoaning fans were softened a bit, however, by the news that Bryan Cranston, star of AMC’s critically acclaimed “Breaking Bad,” is reportedly in talks to sign on as Superman’s arch-nemesis “Lex Luthor,” a character whose appearance was foreshadowed in the “Man of Steel” and who will likely serve as the main villain of the sequel.

For now, fans and Michigan residents will just have to wait to find out how the story of “Superman” and “Batman” unfolds.  

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