Summer of Superman: Smallville Pumping Up Plano

Locals herald 'Man of Steel' film for boosting local economy.

In a matter of weeks, Marlene Kee will be at the center of the Smallville set for the new Superman movie partially filming in Plano.

The front of her shop, The Office Works, will be included in the movie set.

Crews associated with the movie, , descended on the town of 10,850 in early May. They reinvigorated the downtown, cosmetically and economically, said Kee, who also chairs the local chamber of commerce's board of directors.

"It's been a real boost in the economy," Kee said. "There's not an empty building around here."

Thursday afternoon crews continued work on facades for buildings along Main Street west of Center Street. A sign on the main entrance for Heads and Tails Bar announced reduced hours in light of the movie construction and reduced customer parking, while a large American flag had been painted on the side of the building.

The flag will stay long after all the movie crews leave - likely in October, Kee said. She said she considers it an improvement.

"There used to be a billboard there [advertising beer,]" she said. "We all hated it."

Plano is slated to depict Smallville, the boyhood home of Superman, with other scenes being shot in downtown Chicago in September, the Huffington Post reported last month. The Beacon-News reported Thursday that an office building on Aurora's East Side is being used to coordinate shoots throughout the Chicago area.

Representatives but, as of Wednesday, had not submitted it, said Yorkville City Administrator Bart Olson.

The movie itself is expected to explore Superman's origins, with Julia Ormond playing Superman's Krypton birth mother Lara Lor-Van and Russell Crowe depicting his Krypton birth father Jor-El, according to Huffington Post. The director is Zach Snyder, while Henry Cavill will assume the role of the title character, Huffington Post reports.

Kee expects shooting in Plano will being mid-August.

Editor's note: Patch will regularly feature local tidbits, trivia and filming news in this "Summer of Superman" column. Next week, we will highlight ways the Man of Steel has already popped up around town, but we also would like to feature area residents who will be working as extras. If you are going to be an extra and are interested in being interviewed, please e-mail jillian.duchnowski@patch.com.

Dennis A Ray July 25, 2011 at 03:09 PM
It sure would have been nice if they could have hired some of the many local carpenters to do the work. They all came from Chicago. Some way to help the local economy. Dissapointing......
Richard R July 25, 2011 at 05:39 PM
Dennis......... Movie Guild rules are they hire Unionized labor and it is based in Chicago. Trust me when I say they would love to use any local people, but the whole movie industry is union.
JR August 02, 2011 at 02:47 AM
Lots of people have loved the billboard sign ad on the wall at Heads or Tails building. Over the years several people, including a wedding party took pictures in front of the billboard. I recall Tim McGraw being on the billboard with a Bud Light ad and people were trying to buy it. Same with Dale Earnhart Jr, Jeff Gordon and many others. So what my friend Marlene says about people hating it, is not accurate. Maybe she did, but that is just her. Marlene can't speak for the town, she can only speak for herself. Thank you. JR


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