Though I’m always happy to see Ron Perlman getting work, the only reason I’m bothering to write about his getting cast in Shem Bitterman’s The Job is because it signals a slight tectonic shift in the movie production landscape: Detroit is the new Shreveport.
Actually, “another Shreveport” is more accurate, as Michigan is just the latest state to offer up generous tax credits for feature film productions (New Mexico is another attractive suitor, which is why movie stars are now spotted roaming the dusty, windswept streets of Albuquerque). Though my Hollywood neighbors won’t dig this too much, a part of me is happy to see Detroit getting some love on the big screen – even if they’re mostly going to use it as another stand in for New York City. Off the top of my head, I can only think of three films that took advantage of the Motor City’s gritty environs (Out of Sight, Narc and The Island*), and that’s a shame. I may hate most of their organized sports teams (love the Wings!), but that berg’s got some great, pissed-off charm. The downtown area’s also dangerous as fuck, but that’s kinda cool, too.
So while Bitterman’s cast of Perlman, Taryn Manning and Joe Pantoliano may not be A-list, I’ve a feeling bigger names are headed east. In the last week, I’ve heard of several big-time productions that are seriously considering shooting out of Detroit. Hopefully, to qualify for the full 40% tax credit, the state will require cameos for Bob Seger, Steve Yzerman and/or Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns.
I am, however, a bit worried about that “Delta City” initiative.
*Message board poster “Tati” reminded me of 8 Mile.