State has played diverse roles in past shoots
ROGER AND ME(1989) Michael Moore’s landmark debut documentary features the aggressive filmmaker detailing the economic decline of his hometown of Flint, Mich., and its leading employer General Motors. Moore and his small crew explore much of the area — from run-down neighborhoods where families are cruelly evicted on Christmas Day to nearby Detroit suburb Bloomfield Hills, where many auto execs own mansions. Moore later shot much of his Oscar-winning “Bowling for Columbine” in Michigan cities like Auburn Hills, Decker, Fenton, Flint and Troy. GROSSE POINTE BLANK (1997) The titular Detroit suburb (also inspiring the short-lived Darren Starr TV series “Grosse Pointe”) provided the setting for the 1997 John Cusack starrer about a hitman attending his 10-year high school reunion. Grosse Pointe’s Lakeshore Drive and its opulent mansions can be seen in the film, which was otherwise primarily lensed in L.A. OUT OF SIGHT (1998) Steven Soderbergh’s 1998 film adaptation of Michigan resident Elmore Leonard’s crime novel takes place in various Southern locales but features a lengthy side trip to the Motor City. Soderbergh filmed scenes at Detroit landmarks like the Kronk Gym and the State Theater as well as in the posh suburb of Bloomfield Hills where Albert Brooks’ character has hidden a cache of diamonds in his palatial estate. AMERICAN PIE 2 (2001) Executive producers Paul and Chris Weitz set the sequel to their raunchy 1999 teen hit in the resort areas on the state’s Upper Peninsula. While much of the pic was shot in California, the film features shots of Grand Haven, Mich., which stands in for the film’s fictional Grand Harbor. 8 MILE (2002) Curtis Hanson’s hit film, loosely based on the rise of Detroit rap icon Eminem, was shot entirely in the Detroit area (as proudly stated in the film’s closing credits) and is named after an iconic street in the city. Areas such as Highland Park, Southfield, Southgate, Sterling Heights and Warren as well as specific locations Chin Tiki Club and the Michigan Theater are among the pic’s prominent settings. NARC (2002) The gritty cops-and-crooks saga, directed by Joe Carnahan, was set in Detroit and made extensive use of a short location shoot in the city. The film features scenes shot in Belle Isle Park and at the Detroit Police Department’s 4th Precinct building. SEMI-PRO (2008) This year’s Will Ferrell laffer — about an eccentric ABA coach/owner/player in ’70s Flint — features footage of the city’s Torch Bar & Grill, the Top Hat Auto Wash and the iconic Vehicle City Arches. The arena in which the film’s fictional Flint Tropics play, the Flint Fairgrounds Coliseum, is actually the Michigan State Fairgrounds Coliseum, while the interiors were lensed in L.A. DETROIT DONE DISCRETELY Some films, such Michael Bay’s “Transformers” (2007) and “The Island” (2005) and the Meg Ryan starrer “Against the Ropes” (2004), have made use of Michigan locations (primarily Detroit), production facilities and tax incentives without the film being set in the city.
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