John Favreau's futuristic answer to the über-successful Avatar is a 3-D journey into a Southwestern conflict between Silver City, Arizona, settlers, who must resolve their differences when an alien spaceship crash-lands in their city.
The movie is called Cowboys and Aliens, and we learned today that mega-star Harrison Ford has signed on to play the lead in the film, which is set to begin shooting in June.
That's great news! So what impact will a bonafide movie star teaming up with an award-winning director to create what is sure to be a blockbuster smash about an Arizona town have on the Arizona economy? How about zilch -- they'e filming it in California.
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Countless movies (like 3:10 to Yuma, which was filmed in New Mexico) supposedly based in Arizona were filmed elsewhere because other states offer tax incentives for studios to film there.
When a big studio comes to any town to film a movie, it brings with it hundreds of people who spend money at local businesses. With all the cool stories that Arizona offers the cinematic world, the state is missing out on some serious cash when they film those stories elsewhere.
There have been several efforts to get state government to offer tax incentives comparable to states like California and New Mexico for studios to film movies here -- including one last year that was brushed aside by legislators trying to solve the state's budget crisis.
Mesa is in the process of building a studio capable of producing large-scale movies, but without the necessary tax incentives, the studio could go to waste.