Chicago to Be Backdrop for Summer Blockbusters

Saturday, Jul 20, 2013  |  Updated 1:28 PM CDT
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PHOTOS: "Transformers" Rocks Downtown

"Transformers" Destroys Chicago |
Filming for the third "Transformers" movie shut down Michigan Avenue starting Thursday. The sets left scenes of destruction all across the city.

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Chicago is in the spotlight, literally.

There will be plenty of lights, cameras and action in the city this summer as two major blockbuster productions and several television series plan to make Chicago their backdrop.

“Transformers 4,” “Jupiter Ascending” and six network shows will be filmed entirely in Chicago during the summer and fall months.

Paramount Pictures held casting for movie extras for “Transformers 4” Friday and Saturday, according to the Chicago Film Office, beginning at 9 a.m. at Skokie Holiday Inn, 5300 W. Touhy Ave. in Skokie.

Filming in the Windy City begins Aug. 18 through Sept. 27.

Chicago is no stranger to the franchise. "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" fictitiously put the city under siege in 2010, taking down the city's major landmarks and tearing up most of downtown.

Michael Bay said good things about his experience here, noting the Chicago Film Office allowed him to do things that other cities wouldn't have permitted and lauded Chicago's residents and architecture.

“We’ve always known that Chicago has beautiful backdrops and a thriving creative community, and over the course of the last few years, the film industry has made this discovery as well,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement. “These film and television projects will continue to grow our local creative workforce, keeping jobs right here at home in Chicago.”

Paramount Studios estimates that “Transformers” will generate $27 million in local jobs and economic development.

Warner Bros.' science fiction thriller “Jupiter Ascending,” which stars Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis, is expected to generate $24 million in local jobs and development.

The film will be directed by Chicagoans Andy and Lana Wachowski, creators of the “Matrix” films.

The movies' many action and aerial sequences will be filmed primarily in the central business district. City officials will provide public updates on road closures, low flying helicopters and stunts associated with the productions.

In addition to the blockbuster films, six network television series will also make Chicago their set including NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago PD” and “Crisis.”

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