CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Avengers are coming to Cleveland.
Gov. John Kasich announced that the upcoming Marvel movie featuring the superhero team The Avengers, scheduled for a 2012 release, will be filmed in Cleveland.
He made the announcement before Mayor Frank Jackson's State of the City address this afternoon at the City Club.
"I'm really pleased that the city is going to get this movie," he said. "It's fantastic. It required quick and hard work between the community here and the state of Ohio, something that hasn't always happened. We won another one from Michigan. I'm thrilled we are going to have this here. I'm just bucking for a part as Governator 2."
The news was also confirmed by Katie Sabatino, publicist for the Ohio Film Office, who said the agreement was made with Marvel Comics after negotiations.
"We have been in dialogue with Marvel Comics all week and we finally reached an agreement," she said. "We're very excited about it."
The Avengers movie, directed by Joss Whedon, will feature big-name actors reprising their superhero roles from previous films, including Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man; Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow.
The Avengers movie will also feature Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Chris Evans as Captain America. Both men are also appearing in films about their characters this year.
Hemsworth stars as Thor in a highly anticipated movie opening in May and Evans stars as Captain America in the movie, "Captain America, The First Avenger" opening in July.
Wayne Hill, chairman of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, said the Avengers movie will be the largest film ever made in Ohio and that filming is expected to start in the fall.
Reportedly, people associated with the film are already in Cleveland scouting out locations.
Ivan Schwarz, executive director of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, said the movie also means jobs.
"It's tremendous for the city's and the regional effort to have films made here," he said. "It means a lot of jobs for people in our area."
The film was to have been shot in Detroit, but was moved to Cleveland after reports that Michigan's governor planned to eliminate the tax credits.
"Marvel has stated publicly that the change was because of the tax credit loss," said Hill. "The fact that we have it in Ohio has made a huge difference."
The Avengers movie is the film that all the recent Marvel movies have been leading up to. After the closing credits of the movies featuring Iron Man, The Hulk and other heroes, there are hints of the formation of a superhero team featuring the powerhouse characters.
I'm so there