SFX reader Kat Middleton gives a personal view on the way of Manchester has been turned into Brooklyn
From Corrie Cobbles to Brooklyn, NYC
Captain America hits Manchester with a bang and the squeal of tyres
For half a century, Manchester has been the home of ITV’s prime-time back-bone, Coronation Street , and the northern face of British television. But the city’s on-screen pedigree is really more sci-fi than soap, with such quality fare as Life on Mars , Survivors and zombie horror flick, 28 Days Later finding locations here. However, there are few productions that can match the spending power of Manchester’s most recent guest: Captain America.
Filming for the big-budget blockbuster, has seen the boho chic of Manchester’s Northern Quarter transformed into 1940s down-town Brooklyn, complete with period cars, lamp-posts and road signs. Although the location was reputedly chosen due to its architecture, which has much in common with parts of New York, most of the buildings have been spruced up or had shop-fronts added and carefully dressed with vintage and replica products to give it the right atmosphere. With the attention to detail, it is small wonder that the sequence that’s being shot, although expected to last mere minutes of the final cut, will cost a small fortune.
Current estimates suggest the production budget for the movie is around $140 million but rumours abound that the Manchester sequence will come in at around $26 million on its own. The scene involves a dramatic car chase complete with gun-fire and at least one explosion.
However, the money isn’t just being spent on the action. The residents of Dale Street have been treated to Marks and Spencer vouchers in lieu of the inconvenience of living on set for two weeks. During filming, residents are being asked to wait at the barriers so they can be safely escorted through the set to their homes where they have a great view of all the goings-on. There will also be a further treat - for the ladies at least – when leading man, Chris Evans, is on set later in the week.
Captain America: The First Avenger will have a UK release date of July 2011. That is, of course, if the dreaded Manchester rain stays away!