CHICAGO — Two big-budget movie blockbusters filming in town this summer are expected to bring more than $50 million into the local economy through jobs and economic development, city officials said.
The science-fiction action films "Jupiter Ascending" and "Transformers 4" are shooting in town this summer. In addition, the city has six active TV shows in production here.
"Jupiter Ascending" is the latest thriller fantasy from Lana and Andy Wachowski, the Chicagoans who made "The Matrix" film series as well as last year's movie adaptation of "Cloud Atlas."
The third "Transformers" sequel replaces Shia LaBeouf with Mark Wahlberg as the shape-shifting robots return to town.
In addition, the city is setting the stage for three NBC TV series — "Chicago Fire," its spinoff "Chicago PD" and the new "Crisis" — along with two new ABC series, "Betrayal" and "Mind Games," and "Sirens" from cable network USA.
"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," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "These film and television projects will continue to grow our local creative work force, keeping jobs right here at home in Chicago."
"Jupiter Ascending" began shooting earlier this summer and is expected to pump $24 million into the local economy. "Transformers 4" is expected to add another $27 million after its earlier sequel, subtitled "Dark of the Moon," filmed its climactic battle sequence here in 2010.
"Jupiter Ascending" is getting started just as the dystopian teen drama "Divergent" is ready to wrap. "Divergent," too, has been shooting around town, and it was expected to pump $30 million into the local economy.
Chicagoans should be on the lookout for Channing Tatum, who plays an albino wolf-human hybrid in "Jupiter Ascending," as well as Mila Kunis, who plays the title character Jupiter Jones, targeted for assassination by the queen of the universe.
"Chicago Fire" continues to shoot in Pilsen and elsewhere, now joined by "Chicago PD."
The Chicago Film Office, in the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, reports that the city is on pace to break last year's record $184 million spent by film productions in town.