Thanks to a huge tax incentive for film production studios, Cleveland beat out Buffalo, New York, as the location of a new movie starring Kevin Costner as a fictitious NFL general manager.
Director Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, My Super Ex-Girlfriend) initially intended to shoot in Buffalo, but the Ohio tax break which stipulates that payments for local crews are 35-percent tax deductible was too good to pass up. New York state officials strained to convince Reitman and Lionsgate studio execs that the Bills were "America's team," but couldn't sway their wallets, even if they swayed their hearts.
The film, "Draft Day," will feature Costner as a Browns GM trying to restore his team to former glory. And whether or not Reitman is an NFL fan, he should know that Cleveland is not only an economically-attractive filming location. It's thematically resonant as well.
Shooting is slated to begin next month at the NFL draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
A "Draft Day" Wish List:
1) That Kevin Costner be so accidentally bad in "Draft Day" that the film enjoys unexpected success as a comedy, notwithstanding its 'Sports Drama' billing, and becomes a sort of "Major League" analog.
2) That the film feature Wesley Snipes in an ex-tight-end-turned-commentator role, a la Shannon Sharpe.
3) That Kevin Costner deploy the weird on-again, off-again Scottish brogue he made famous in Waterworld.
4) That the film, for no particular reason, feature Rutger Hauer and James Earl Jones as old Cleveland Steel Workers.
5) That Kevin Costner appear on the sideline or in the booth of actual Browns games next season and becomes a lunatic fan, a father figure/moral compass for Jordan Cameron, and an unlikely talisman for the team.