CLEVELAND — We've had lights, cameras, and action in Cleveland since the launch of Ohio's film tax credit.
But during the months that the Ohio legislature was considering dropping the tax credit during budget negotiations, several projects started to pull away from Cleveland, according to Ivan Schwarz, outgoing Greater Cleveland Film Commission president.
Now, we know about another loss.
Cleveland natives Joe and Anthony Russo have shot a few movies here already, including Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Fresh off of directing Avengers: Endgame, the highest-grossing film of all-time, the Russo Brothers had hoped to shoot their follow-up picture in their hometown.
The filmmaking brothers are set to make Cherry, featuring "Spider Man" star Tom Holland. The movie is based on the biography of a former Army medic who has come home with post traumatic stress disorder and falls into a world of opioids and crime. Deadline reported last month that the Russos planned for the film to be set in and made in Cleveland.
Anthony Russo was back in Northeast Ohio on Thursday to greet fans at the Best Buy on Brookpark Road as part of the launch of Endgame on Blu Ray. He gave us the bad news when we talked about making movies in Cleveland.
"The budget negotiations caused a lot of hiccups in terms of how people could plan productions in Ohio, and specifically in Cleveland," Russo said. "Because of those problems, we had to come up with a Plan B because then this location wasn't viable economically. So unfortunately we're not going to be shooting that movie (Cherry) here, which is kind of heartbreaking for us."
Russo did say that Cleveland is headed in the right direction with the establishment of a film school, keeping the tax credit and establishing some of the necessary infrastructure.
He’s hoping the city that helped shaped him and his movies will play host to more of his films in the future.
We reached out to the a spokesperson with the Greater Cleveland Film Commission for comment, they directed us to the film's publicist. We have not heard back from them yet. No matter what, Cherry is headed elsewhere which is definitely a blow for Cleveland.