Batman Superman shooting in Detroit
Batman vs. Superman, which could dominate the box office in 2015, is being shot in Detroit and on that note the actors might get shot too (just kidding!). Sorry. One is compelled to make at least one crack about violence when talking about the Motor City. But on a more serious note, those attending the movie two short years from now are guaranteed plenty of good action. But like all other blockbuster productions, there are plenty of questions surrounding what stacks up to be the biggest DC movie of all time.
The first concern for this film is the level of acting. Henry Cavill returns as Superman. This author is not impressed by his acting. Sure, he was decent in Man of Steel, and that is enough to give fans hope for a satisfactory if not spectacular performance. But his performance in Immortals was so hammy it practically oinked. And none of the other movies this author has seen him in have indicated a permanent upward trend. And he isn't even the most controversial acting choice of the bunch. Ben Affleck is officially going to play Batman. That's right. From the Jay and Silent Bob franchise, the laughless romantic comedies, the stoned version of Jack Ryan in The Sum of All Fears...is going to be Batman. They might as well call Jeff Bridges and have him channel "The Dude" through the cape and cowl, right? Well, don't be so sure. After all, he as pretty decent in The Town. And Argo was pretty good, too. So his more recent body of work (rather than the crap he's known for) holds a bit of promise. He won't act up to Christian Bale's formidable standard; but depending on how they write the Bruce Wayne character, Affleck may just be set up to succeed within the movie itself.
That movie, being shot in Detroit, means that Detroit is going to be an actor in its own way, and probably be the best "actor" in the movie. I'm a Michigander and I've been to Detroit countless times, and while Gotham is modeled on New York and was molded out of Chicago, Detroit has the perfect Gotham vibe. It is a city which, for its well-publicized faults and crime rate, survives on its own resilience. It is gutsy. And while most of the outside world sees only the violence and the sports teams, it is truly a city that forces itself forward. And in that way, it is Gotham.
It is also doing VERY well by being the host to this movie. The Michigan Film Office reported that a $35 million dollar tax incentive was given to the studio. In return, economists with the MFO estimate that $131 million worth of business will be transacted in and around the city. Given Detroit's well-known financial difficulties, the $96 million net increase provides a needed shot of taxable revenue. It is a true irony that made-up superheroes whose epic battles to save cities ultimately destroy them may actually save one of the most controversial and vulnerable cities on Earth.