Batman-Superman movie to be filmed in Detroit in 2014? Sources point toward blockbuster film landing in Motor City

9:32 PM, Aug 23, 2013   |    comments
Actor Ben Affleck is set to play Batman in the upcoming 'Man of Steel' sequel opposite actor Henry Cavill as Superman.
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DETROIT (Det. Free Press) -- Superman. Batman. Detroit?

It's looking like the still-unnamed "Man of Steel" sequel will be filming in Detroit in 2014.

On Friday, a source with in-depth knowledge of Michigan's film incentives and industry said a Warner Bros. project would be announced next week.

And that a masked hero would be involved.

Warner Bros. announced Thursday the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman in the "Man of Steel" sequel that's expected to hit theaters in 2015.

State and Warner Bros. officials aren't talking for now, but multiple sources told the Free Press that filming is expected to start in early 2014 and last several months. Preproduction would start later this year.

The Michigan Film Office said it could not comment on reports about "Man of Steel" and that those questions would need to be directed to Warner Bros. An e-mail to the studio on Friday afternoon was not immediately returned.

Movies of this scope usually have multiple locations. Toronto is currently listed as a "Man of Steel" sequel location on IMDBPRO.com, a popular movie database.

If the "Man of Steel" sequel does come to Detroit, it would be the highest-profile project ever to land in the city - or the state, it's safe to say.

Prior contenders like the "Transformers" movies and "Oz the Great and Powerful" would be overshadowed by the worldwide web-fueled fascination with any and all things related to the "Man of Steel" sequel and how it might fit into a long-sought "Justice League." This year's "Man of Steel" has earned $649 million worldwide and had a production budget of $225 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

This isn't Detroit's first dance with a superhero film. In 2011, "The Avengers" dropped plans to film in Michigan in the wake of Gov. Rick Snyder's plans to revamp and dramatically reduce the state's film incentive program.

The film wound up using Ohio as one of its locations.

And in winter 2012, clues pointed strongly to a Michigan incentive application from "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," the sequel to 2011's "Captain America: The First Avenger."

According to the Michigan Film Office's quarterly report for July through September of that year, an application was withdrawn for a movie from Vita Ray Productions called "Freezer Burn," which other sources indicated was the sequel.

The timing for such a project would seem ideal, given that Michigan's film incentives have been sustained at their current $50-million level for fiscal 2014 - and Michigan's film community could use a project like this to remind Hollywood of its incentives program.

And if anyone could help improve Detroit's bankruptcy battered image, we bet Superman could leap the negativity in a single bound.

Contact Julie Hinds: 313-222-6427 or jhinds@freepress.com

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