Last Friday morning, the Detroit Free Press posted an article about a new film, Don’t Breathe, which entered theaters this past weekend. The thriller film, which is predicted to surpass $60M in its life in the box office—according to HSX.com—was shot and set in Detroit, and joins an extensive list of movies filmed in Michigan.
Hundreds of films and TV shows have been filmed in the Great Lakes State over the past decade or so, thanks largely to the generous film incentives provided by the state government. However, in what became a public and semi-controversial bill, the state legislature voted last summer to end the state’s film incentive program. Moving forward, as the Michigan Film Office fulfills its current contracts with major studios, fewer and fewer films will be shot in Michigan.
With big-budget movies such as Batman Vs. Superman—which amassed $330M in the box office—having completed their Michigan filming, and a few highly-anticipated movies still upcoming, such as Looking For Alaska and Transformers: The Last Knight, let’s take a look at some of the recent and acclaimed movies shot in the Mitten.
Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Michigan Tie: Filmed in various locations around Michigan, including East Lansing, Detroit and Birmingham.
“Fearing that the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the Man of Steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs.”
American Reunion (2012)
Michigan Tie: Set in a fictional Michigan town, the franchise’s creators are originally from Grand Rapids.
“Jim, Michelle, Stifler, and their friends reunite in East Great Falls, Michigan for their high school reunion.”
Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
Michigan Tie: Filmed in various Michigan cities, including Detroit, Pontiac and the rural town of Jasper, just south of Adrian.
“Autobots must escape sight from a bounty hunter who has taken control of the human serendipity: Unexpectedly, Optimus Prime and his remaining gang turn to a mechanic, his daughter, and her back street racing boyfriend for help.”
The Ides of March (2011)
Michigan Tie: Multiple scenes, including two of the important speeches, were filmed in Ann Arbor.
“An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.”
The Five-Year Engagement (2012)
Michigan Tie: Not only was this movie filmed in Michigan, but the main characters, played by Jason Segel and Emily Blunt, move to Ann Arbor when Blunt is accepted at the University of Michigan—where the majority of the film is set.
“One year after meeting, Tom proposes to his girlfriend, Violet, but unexpected events keep tripping them up as they look to walk down the aisle together.”
Gran Torino (2008)
Michigan Tie: The entire duration of the film was both shot and set in the Detroit area.
“Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski sets out to reform his neighbor, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski’s prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino.”
8 Mile (2002)
Michigan Tie: Starring Detroit’s own Marshall Mathers, the film is shot and set in his hometown while it portrays the events that helped shape the rapper’s future as Eminem.
“A young rapper, struggling with every aspect of his life, wants to make it big but his friends and foes make this odyssey of rap harder than it may seem.”
You Don’t Know Jack (2010)
Michigan Tie: The movie, filmed in and around the metro Detroit area, tells the story of the late Michigan native Dr. Jack Kevorkian.
“A look at the life and work of doctor-assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian.”
Michigan Tie: Locally shot in the Petoskey area, this is the film adaptation of northern Michigan native Christopher Knight’s novel of the same name. The film also stars local Michigan actors.
“Chicago literary agent, Anne Harper, vacations to a remote cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. While there, a disgruntled writer is waiting in the shadows to seek his revenge.”
Escanaba in da Moonlight (2001)
Michigan Tie: Filmed and set in Escanaba, the movie stars Michigan native Jeff Daniels.
“A macho man in a family on the eve of deer-hunting season must deal with the eldest son’s curse of never having bagged a buck.”