The Browns appear to be set for a new appearance in the movies as Cleveland reportedly beat Buffalo in the battle for a new Kevin Costner film.
Draft Day was set to star Costner as the general manager of the Buffalo Bills, but the Buffalo News reported Tuesday that Costner will now be GM of the Browns, and the movie will include location shooting in Cleveland.
The change in plans for the movie came even after Draft Day director Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Dave) had scouted locations in Buffalo, the News said. But Cleveland, helped by the state’s tax credit for film productions, offered more incentives, Tim Clark, who heads the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission, told the News.
The Browns declined to comment, referring a reporter to the Greater Cleveland Film Commission. Ivan Schwarz, executive director of the commission, told the Plain Dealer he had no comment at this time.
The commission, along with the state-run Ohio Film Office, has steadily turned Cleveland into a go-to site for major movies. Marvel’s The Avengers, the 2012 box-office champ, was shot partly in Cleveland and this spring the city will host a team from another Marvel movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
In addition, the Browns and the city have been together on the big screen before, notably in The Fortune Cookie, the 1966 movie starring Jack Lemmon as a TV cameraman who — with the encouragement of a shifty lawyer (Walter Matthau) — sues the Browns after being injured while covering a game. Matthau won a best-supporting-actor Oscar for his performance.
In Draft Day, regardless of where it is set, Costner’s job will be to revive a struggling franchise. And Costner knows something about career revivals. After a string of lackluster movies, he rebounded with the award-winning TV hit Hatfields & McCoys.
— Rich Heldenfels