A few weeks ago a solitary security guard was seen outside one of the abandoned historic mansions in Detroit’s Brush Park — the Ransom-Gillis House. These days security guards often mean MOVIES! so we kept an eye on it. Sure enough, this weekend the Batman V Superman crews moved in for filming in this amazing Detroit neighborhood. Few of the original houses are left from the mid-1800s, most demolished, destroyed by arson, or simply crumbled to the ground. Several of the ones that are still standing have been restored. Believe it or not, the Ransom-Gillis House has been partially restored, but it’s facade still makes a great backdrop for dark, creepy Gotham. Crews have been working on the set for the last couple of weeks, and I’ll post some of those photographs later, but for now everyone wants to see the pictures from filming on Friday night.

As far as we know there were no stars on set last night. According to crew they were not there, but we have long learned to take that with a grain of salt. We do know for certain that Henry Cavill is in town. Amy Adams is in L.A., and Ben Affleck is also away for the premiere of Gone Girl. Who does that leave in town? In any case, no actors were seen — at least before 11 pm, and they were scheduled to film all night, so it’s possible that they snuck in later. We witnessed two ‘scenes’ filming after dark last night. The first consisted of winching a large, caged camera high above the rooftops of the house — finally we discover the purpose of the large scaffolding. The camera swung over the roof, around the newly-‘repaired’ chimney, resting over the chimney and looking down into it, then swinging around to look toward the street. Hmm. Maybe this is the perspective of a certain superhero who is on the roof? Pick your flying superhero!

The rest of the evening was a scene of a Gotham police car screeching down a wet street and coming to a halt outside the house. The police officers exited the car, looked up at the house and shone flashlights at the building. Lather, rinse, repeat. Movie making is such a thrill to watch ;) Between takes the production team discussed and pointed and discussed some more, and then there was another take.

We’re pretty sure filming will continue at the same location on Monday. Maybe the actors will be back in town by then? Watch this space. Actually watch Twitter as it takes me a while to upload here. More pictures to follow of the set up of the Ransom-Gillis House, and some general shots of last week’s filming at the Michigan Central Station.

While locals such as myself are reluctant to accept the fact that Batman V Superman filming in the Detroit area may soon be winding down, the reality is that next month it’s likely that the production will move on to film in rural Illinois, Chicago and Morocco. But it’s been a wild summer here in the D. Looking back I was amazed to see how many filming locations there have been. I think I’ve captured them all here, though there may be some secret ones we’ve missed. However, if it wasn’t on Twitter, it didn’t happen ;) Obviously I’ll update this if and when other filming around the area occurs. Fingers crossed that it’s not over yet!

2014-09-02 020 So it’s a poorly-held secret that for the last few nights Batman V Superman production had moved to a night shooting schedule at the Nicholson Terminal at the docks in River Rouge. This is a now infamous filming locale, used in several Detroit-made films such as Real Steel and Transformers: Age of Extinction in which you may have seen the flying Boblo boat. Only a few blurry cellphone pics have emerged of this set, taken by people working on the docks, but some of the production team do share the occasional instagram photo that help locate filming. Thanks, Clay.

Night shoots are of course particularly exciting because, well … BATMAN. So far we’ve seen Bruce Wayne, Superman and Clark Kent, but much as we have loved all of those, the man everyone wants to see is Batman. Yes, we’ve seen the WB-released picture and we’ve seen #SadBatman, but it isn’t quite the same as seeing the actor in his suit on set. The other missing element so far of course is the Batmobile. Again there were a couple of shots some weeks ago of the new vehicle in a warehouse, but Detroit residents (and all Batman fans everywhere) are waiting for the big reveal on the streets. We’d hoped it would happen in August when the movie filmed in downtown Detroit, but so far, if the Batmobile has featured in any filming it’s been in scenes kept heavily under wraps. My piece of advice to Zack Snyder, who I’m, sure is an avid follower of all things Bananadoc (not really), Get the Batmobile out there! Follow Michael Bay’s lead and put the Batmobile out in Detroit for people to look at and take pictures. Just saying. We’d love you forever and lobby the Michigan Film Office for you to film the Justice League Movie here. OK we would do that anyway. But pretty please. And while we’re writing a wish list, Superman and Batman too! What a photo op that would be.

Back to reality. It seems as though night shoots will continue for much of September, confirmed by various casting calls and some inside information, but the location may already have moved to an industrial area near Detroit. The eagle-eyed and obsessively-curious who know Detroit had already managed to work out the location of  that original Batmobile picture. Yes, there are a lot of derelict warehouses in Detroit, but this one wasn’t too hard to track down. We already had that location in the back of our minds before the occasional picture started appearing on social media that suggested the building was going to become a bigger part of the action.

2014-09-05 008aFast forward a couple of days and it’s been confirmed that the shooting at this location will be a big part of the movie. Filming will run through to September 18, set up has already begun, and filming may already have started on part of the site. Again, like the docks, it is pretty locked down. It’s extremely unlikely that anyone is going to gain access to the set to see much going on, particularly since filming will primarily take place at night. But there are boats. Lots of boats. Clearly we are looking at a docks theme here, although the cabling running through this large complex indicates that filming may happen throughout the site, including the roof spaces. Awesome. Batsignal? And Batmobile. We know it was here before, and may even have been stored here, but surely this is where the Caped Crusader and his trusty steed will be in action. It’s night time. And the scenery is totally Gotham. This has to be a big scene for Batfleck. We’re excited.

 

Just a few more pictures from the Gotham City Jail shoot for Batman V Superman on August 27 in downtown Detroit. Most of these have already been shared via Twitter, but there are a couple of additional ones in here, and the hi-res versions of ones we’ve already seen. Most are of general movie-mayhem. While it’s awesome to catch shots of the actors (who doesn’t want that Clark Kent or Superman shot?), it’s always been about the making of the movies for me. I’m not really the paparazzi, though I may play one on my blog, and some shots are too good to miss, but movie making on the streets is just a lot of fun to watch. Long may the Michigan tax incentives continue!

So what was going on here? Well we do know by now of course that mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent was seen on the steps of the jail, speaking with a pregnant woman carrying a baby. There did seem to be a crowd around the jail. It’s set in the fall I think from the clothing and the dead/dying tree. That tree… right in the way of a beautiful clear shot of said reporter! Clark’s fashion sense doesn’t seem to have changed much since the end of Man of Steel — he’s seen wearing the same shirt and jacket (possibly), and carrying the same reporter’s satchel/messenger bag. Rumors suggest that the movie is set approximately 3 months after the end of Man of Steel.

And if you want to see those pics of Henry Cavill as Clark Kent, they are here in the Daily Mail.

Clark Kent in Gotham City Jail?

Posted: August 28, 2014 in Batman-Superman
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So don’t get too excited because this isn’t Henry Cavill himself on the set of Batman V Superman in Detroit — we’ve yet to see the man himself — but at least today we did get to see his stand in on set. There’s a pretty good resemblance to the mild-mannered version of the Man of Steel, but clearly this isn’t the real deal. What is Clark Kent doing in Gotham City Jail is anyone’s guess? There’s a crowd outside, and Clark is seen coming out of the building and speaking with a woman on the steps.

Detroit goes Gotham

Posted: August 28, 2014 in Batman-Superman
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So for the last few days a small corner of Detroit turned into Gotham. Seriously, how cool is that? The old Detroit Police Department on Clinton St. between Beaubien and Raynor turned into Gotham City Jail, complete with Gotham police, detectives in CSI white coats, and of course the cars! Gotham Police cars, Gotham taxicabs and a Gotham city bus. It doesn’t get much better than that. Well, OK, the Batmobile would have been the cherry on the cake, but so far that’s still been kept totally under wraps.

It looks as though there may still be a few more days of filming in the D before they move out to River Rouge to film a big scene — educated guesses suggest that this will be at the Nicholson Terminal where several other movies have been filmed recently… think Real Steel and the latest Transformers movie. The docks are inaccessible to prying cameras, so this may be our last chance to watch what’s happening on set before the production moves to Illinois (Kent farmhouse) and Chicago, and then Morocco!

 

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Yeah, the Batmobile would be cooler. Much cooler!

 

Image  —  Posted: August 27, 2014 in Batman-Superman
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Or buy the domain name!

 

Image  —  Posted: August 27, 2014 in Batman-Superman
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(Old news to many, I know, but I didn’t get around to uploading the pictures yet!)

A few weeks ago there was a big outdoor scene at the green screen sound stages of the Michigan Motion Picture Studios in Pontiac. Helicopters were seen overhead, and generally there was a lot of noise and smoke and maybe fire. Extras were dressed as police and first responders. I saw these vehicles (below) and was a little confused. It takes me a while to catch on. Clearly these are DC vehicles, so the scene that was filmed was not set in either Metropolis or Gotham as previous scenes had been.

Fast forward a week or three and several yellow DC cabs are seen on the filming lot at the Wayne County Courthouse in downtown Detroit. Along with a DC Metrobus. Aha! During the Huge Detroit Flood of 2014, a few scenes were also filmed at the Detroit Library and Wayne State University, and it’s suspected that part of these scenes were made to look like the offices of the FBI in Washington DC. So there you go.

This was all explained more clearly by Chris Begley at Batman News!

 

Finally we see some shots of Henry Cavill as Superman (almost) on the set of Batman V Superman while filming at the Wayne County Building in Detroit yesterday. It was a good day for one intrepid set photographer, and the shots were shared with the world via Just Jared.