Some time ago, we heard that Joss Whedon’s The Avengers was to be shot largely in Manhattan. Makes sense, because it’s largely set there, after all. Now, though, we’ve learned that the New York portion of the production is going to be rather smaller than previously planned and, by moving The Avengers to LA, Marvel are set to enact one of their notorious budget cutting exercises. Frugality? Fiscal responsibility? Scrooge McDuckery?
Relocating from one set of sound stages to another can’t hurt the film creatively though, can it? I’d certainly rather Marvel save money by filming in a different state, closer to Hollywood’s home, than by handicapping the production design and art teams.
And keeping the production in commuting distance to all those swanky LA actors’ homes will help smooth over the filming of an ensemble movie with a bunch of big names on smaller salaries than they might otherwise expect. And on Marvel Studios part, now they don’t have to pay to put them all up in style in New York for a few weeks.
However, there is also a likelihood that the amount of time for New York exterior and location filming will now be rather reduced and scenes will have to be reinvented as set-bound, or at the very turned around more quickly. This would be a bit more visible.
The big move is certainly unfortunate for all of the NY crew members who had turned down other work to keep a nice, big Avengers-shaped hole in their schedules. They won’t all find a replacement gig in time, not by any stretch. Conversely, of course, it’s a boon to the LA production community. New York swings and LA roundabouts.
Filming looks like it will now get underway in early February, in LA. We’ll keep you posted.