Skip to main content

Summer (Midwest) Movie Preview: What's shooting this summer in your hometown?

Ben Affleck as Batman in a photo tweeted by director Zack Snyder on the Detroit set of 'Batman v Superman'
Ben Affleck as Batman in a photo tweeted by director
Zack Snyder on the Detroit set of 'Batman v Superman'
Summertime is fast becoming filmmaking season in the Midwest. In the last few years, films like The Avengers, Transformers, Captain America, Draft Day, The Fault in Our Stars and more have set up shop in the summer months to make their movies in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. This summer is no different.

Travel through the Midwest Movie Belt (Detroit through Cleveland to Pittsburgh) and a half-dozen or more mid- to big-budget films are calling the region home. Expand that through the states and you double that number.

Turn a corner and someone’s likely shooting a scene filled with zombies, criminals or battling DC superheroes. Here are the Top 5 summer productions you should be looking for:

1. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. By far, Warner Bros. sort of sequel to Man of Steel (though, from recent leaked reports of Warner Bros. DC superhero movie slate, really a prequel of Justice League before Justice League) is the region’s biggest production. Shooting in Detroit over the next few months, the movie pits Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne against Henry Cavill’s Superman. The production is the most expensive film ever shot in Metro Detroit, with an estimated $131 million project budget, according to reports, hiring hundreds of local film crew and more than 6,000 jobs for extras. Filmmakers were given a $35 million incentive to shoot in the state. Beyond the city, the film is also shooting at the Michigan Motion Picture Studio, where much of Oz the Great and Powerful was filmed. The Michigan Film Office is hoping to lure future Warner Bros./DC productions back.

Director Jackie Earle Haley and crew  on the Cleveland set of 'Criminal Activities'
Director Jackie Earle Haley and crew
on the Cleveland set of 'Criminal Activities'
2. Criminal Activities. After a summer filled with superheroes and football stars, things are little quieter in Cleveland this year. The big summer production for C-town is Criminal Activities, starring John Travolta and directed by Jackie Earle Haley. Less disruptive than Captain America: The Winter Soldier and a bit more subdued like Draft Day, the film crew has been spotted on Cleveland’s east side and downtown. It’s a fast 23-day shoot, as many indies are. Travolta was in town for only five days. The other actors - Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire) and Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) - are in it for the long haul.

3. Southpaw. Director Antoine Fuqua returns to his hometown of Pittsburgh to direct his next feature, Southpaw, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker and 50 Cent. The film will shoot in Pittsburgh in July, after wrapping production in Indiana and others parts of Pennsylvania. The movie tells the story of a middleweight boxing champion who must find the strength to come back after a personal tragedy. Fuqua is best known for Training Day and the upcoming Equalizer.

Filmmaker Melissa Rauch
Filmmaker Melissa Rauch
4. The Bronze. This small indie about a former Olympic gymnast who is still living those glory days years later. The film was written by Melissa Rauch, who plays Bernadette on The Big Bang Theory. Rauch plays the main character in the comedy. The movie shoots in Amherst, Ohio, in June and July. Amherst is a little more than 30 miles from Cleveland.

5. Me & Earl & the Dying Girl. This film, based on the YA novel of the same story, finishes up its on location work in Pittsburgh this month. The movie is directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, who has a slew of second unit work under his belt, as well co-executive producing American Horror Story. Thomas Mann (Project X), Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel) and Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead) star.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Tina Fey, Jay Roach Bringing Kent State Film '67 Shots' to Ohio

Tina Fey is taking a serious turn, producing 67 Shots, a film about the 1970 Kent State shootings. The movie applied for the Ohio Film Tax Incentive earlier this year and plans to film in and around KSU sometime in 2018.

67 Shots focuses on events that led up to the shooting deaths of four students by Ohio National Guardsmen. The title comes from the numbers of shots those guardsmen fired into the unarmed crowd of protestors.
Fey is producing alongside Jeff Richmond, her husband and a Kent State alum. Jay Roach, best known for the Austin Powers and Meet the Fockers franchises, will helm the project. Roach is making more socially and politically aware films at this stage in his career, including Trumbo and Game Change.
The film is based on the book 67 Shots: Kent State and the End of American Innocence and is adapted by award-winning playwright Stephen Belber. Fey and Richmond’s production company, Little Stranger, will join Shivani Rawat’s ShivHans Pictures and Michelle Graham’s Everyman…

'Walking Dead' star Emily Kinney joins 'Anhedonia' cast

Emily Kinney, perhaps best known for her role as Beth Greene on AMC’s The Walking Dead, is joining Anhedonia, the new indie feature from Cleveland’s Eric Swinderman and Carmen DeFranco.

Kinney got her start on stage, with roles in Spring Awakening and August: Osage County, before transitioning to guest roles on television and a star turn as Emily on Showtime’s The Big C.

Her breakout role would come as Beth Greene, Maggie Greene’s little sister, on The Walking Dead. Kinney became a fan favorite during a series of dramatic episodes in the series’ fourth season when Kinney’s Greene bonded with fellow survivor Daryl Dixon, played by Norman Reedus.

Anhedonia co-stars Breckin Meyer and Giselle Eisenberg.

"To have the opportunity to work with such an amazing actress like Emily is beyond exciting,” says Swinderman. “It's also very exciting for the city and people of northeast Ohio to have three huge TV stars coming to town to work on such a wonderful project.”

Anhedonia tells the tal…

Cleveland indie nabs 'SNL' alum Abby Elliott, TV veteran Breckin Meyer

Abby Elliott and Breckin Meyer are coming to Cleveland. They are set to star in Anhedonia, the new feature from 1031 Films’ Eric Swinderman and Carmen DeFranco. Filming begins May 1 at locations around Northeast Ohio.

Elliott, an alum of Saturday Night Live, is best known for her roles on How I Met Your Mother, Odd Mom Out, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It may not be Elliott’s first time in Cleveland, either. She played Lara in Fun Size, which shot in Cleveland in 2012.

Meyer starred as Jared Franklin on Franklin & Bash and is well known for roles in Road Trip, Clueless and Garfield.

Also joining the cast is Giselle Eisenberg, who stars as Sophia in Life in Pieces, and Cleveland’s own Debra Herzog, who had a supporting part on Outsiders and serves as a producer on Anhedonia.

Other local stars include Bryant Carroll, Allen O’Reilly, Jonathan Chiarle, and Katherine DeBoer. More roles will soon be cast.

Dark subjects, big questionsAnhedonia tells the tale of Casey (Meyer), who mee…