Assembling “The Avengers”, Five Years Later

Dear Friend of GCFC,

Five years ago, Marvel’s “The Avengers” premiered and became the fifth highest grossing motion picture of all time.

As many of you know, it was filmed in large part right here in Cleveland and surrounding areas. However, some might not know exactly how that all came about.

In early Spring 2011, the film was set to shoot in Detroit, where Michigan’s film incentive and soundstages were already doing huge business. However, the Governor of Michigan had made a statement in which he discussed putting a hold on their state’s film incentive.

Not long after that, I received a call from the producers of “The Avengers.” The Governor’s statement was a concern, as was the sudden uncertainty over their tax incentive. They asked me if I could get on a plane to meet with Marvel in L.A.

I was on the next flight.

The next day I met with Marvel and Disney executives and assured them Cleveland was up to the task of filming one of the biggest and most anticipated movies of all time. I then met with officials from the state to make sure their incentive money would be approved, and with county and city officials in Cleveland to talk about the logistics of shooting a blockbuster.

Whether it was closing down East Ninth Street for a month to film explosions and alien invasions, or turning Public Square into Stuttgart, Germany, Cleveland and its residents stepped up in a big way for their city’s star turn.

We are proud to have been the catalyst for the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Incentive, which allowed us to bring this piece of movie history to Cleveland and work every day to bring to town more media productions, and with them more jobs and economic impact.

Happy Fifth Anniversary to “The Avengers,” and thanks to all of you for your continued support.


Ivan Schwarz
President, Greater Cleveland Film Commission