Saturday, February 15, 2014

Detroit: Hollywood’s go-to location for bleak futures

“RoboCop,” a movie about a cyborg police officer trying to clean up the crime-ridden streets of a dystopian Detroit, opened this weekend. Ironically the movie was filmed mostly in Toronto and nearby cities in Canada, with reportedly only some exterior shots in the Motor City.
But never fear, the rundown city of Detroit gets more than enough work from movies that want to depict a post-apocalyptic world or city in ruins.
The Michigan and Detroit film offices list at least three low-budget zombie apocalypse movies using Detroit locales in as many years, including “Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption” (2011), which is set “in a world where zombies outnumber humans 10,000 to one.”
Detroit also was the shooting location for “Vanishing on 7th Street” (2010), where the population of the city disappears under mysterious circumstances, leaving just a handful of survivors.
“12 Monkeys,” a TV pilot based on the Bruce Willis time-travel movie set in a post-apocalyptic future, is scheduled to film in Detroit in early 2014. The SyFy network might make a TV series based on response to the pilot.
Actor David Arquette has filmed a post-apocalyptic movie in Detroit called “Orion,” according to MLive and ScreenCrush. He plays a hunter fighting his way through a futuristic wasteland in search of his brother. No release date has been set.
The dilapidated city is on display in movies that take place in the present day as well, including “Assault on Precinct 13” (2005) and “Gran Torino” (2008).
Detroit will be trashed in the upcoming action movies “Need for Speed,” “Transformers 4” and “Batman vs. Superman.”
Those movies are fiction but the real Detroit looks like equal parts war zone and wasteland in many places, based on several photo essays, including these from Fast Company and Business Insider. (Here’s another photo essay on abandoned homes in Detroit and an article about depressing Detroit statistics.)

Photos: Movie posters from “RoboCop” (2014) and “Vanishing on 7th Street” (2010). 

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