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The Avengers

"The Avengers" Movie pulls out of Michigan

Monday 21 February 2011, by Webmaster

Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget proposal on Michigan film incentives is sending immediate aftershocks.

"The Avengers" — a big-budget Marvel superhero film featuring Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk and others that was to be partially shot here this summer — has already decided it won’t be filming in the state, several people with connections to the film told the Free Press.

The "Avengers" story echoes the buzz spreading through the local film industry that projects wanting to come here are either holding off on their plans or changing their locations to another state.

Anxiety, uncertainty and anger are building in the metro Detroit film community over Snyder’s budget plan, which essentially would eliminate the current film tax incentive and instead call for $25 million in each of the next two years for future movie projects.

“The Avengers” decision is an early – and high-profile – example of incentive supporters’ fears becoming reality.

"They were all set to come here," said Chris Baum of Film Detroit, a division of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. When producers couldn’t get confirmation that they would still qualify for the incentives, they decided to pull out of the state, Baum said.

Attempts on Sunday to reach Marvel Enterprises, the film’s production company, were unsuccessful.

Tom Moisides got his call on Saturday morning: His services as a location scout for “The Avengers” would no longer be needed.

Moisides, 39, of Michigan-based Colony Films said he has been working since November as a location scout on the film, a big-buzz superhero adaptation whose cast will include Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson. The job could have been a $100,000 gig if "The Avengers" shoot lasted through October, as he was told to expect.

Moisides, whose credits include the Eminem-Chrysler Super Bowl spot, Hugh Jackman’s "Real Steel" and Gerard Butler’s "Machine Gun Preacher," said that he had been working to finalize contracts for his locations, he had hired an assistant and another location manager was expected to start this week. Moisides added that other members of the production were negotiating with local hotels and looking at office space, warehouse units and construction shops and mills.