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A version of this story first appeared in the July 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
On the big screen, 2015 has been the year for Hollywood to take on San Francisco.
Not only does the Golden Gate bridge get pummeled in San Andreas, the same iconic structure hosts a school bus-centered fight sequence in Terminator: Genisys and provides the backdrop for posters and billboards for Pixels, opening July 24, with an oversized Pac-Man character swallowing the city whole.
These films aren’t the first to validate the longtime feud between Los Angeles and the city by the Bay, as shown in scenes from films like Star Trek Into Darkness, Pacific Rim and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. But what does San Francisco think?
Reached by THR, Mayor Ed Lee seems fine with the recent wave of destruction as long as the northern metropolis is recognized again during awards season. “San Francisco’s starring role in recent Hollywood movies should earn our city an Oscar nomination,” Lee says.
A spokesperson in the mayor’s office adds that the city is a desirable location for Hollywood productions, pointing interested parties to its Film SF website.
Pixels director Chris Columbus lives in San Francisco and tells THR it was his choice to feature the city on the poster, though it isn’t actually destroyed in the film. “We wanted to show that the movie has a global feeling. San Francisco is untouched in the movie. I’ll never get a chance to destroy the Golden Gate Bridge or shoot an action scene because there’s been too many of them,” he said. “[San Francisco] is one of the most — if not the most — beautiful places on the planet. It inspires filmmakers. It inspired me when I did [Mrs.Doubtfire]. … It was a love letter to San Francisco. But now it’s like, let’s see how we can destroy San Francisco.”
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