The Oakland Press
The Pontiac Silverdome may become the focal point for a motion picture feature by Hollywood movie producer Steven Spielberg.
During a tour of the new Motown Motion Picture LLC studios at 1999 Centerpoint Parkway, company president Linden Nelson said he met Spielberg at a Hollywood gathering, where Spielberg told him he wanted to use the Silverdome in a movie project he was developing.
“Spielberg is looking forward to doing things in Michigan. He is very interested in the Silverdome,” Nelson said. “He is looking to do a movie to star the Silverdome.”
Nelson said the movie may hasten the sale of the dome.
Nelson also said that Ariel Emanuel, founder of the Endeavor Agency in Beverly Hills, Calif., and current partner William Morris-Endeavor Entertain ment, is on board with the Motown Motion Picture studio project.
Emanuel represents Hollywood stars such as Martin Scorsese, Jessica Alba, Reese Witherspoon, Larry David, Michael Moore, Jude Law, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel, Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Wahlberg, among others.
Nelson said that Emanuel has already promised to develop 20 films at the Motown Motion Picture site.
Among the dignitaries touring the new studio home, a former General Motors property, were Gov. Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, auto recovery director Ed Montgomery and representatives of the city.
“It looks like a movie studio,” said Granholm, as she made her way though the lobby of the 410,000-square-foot building.
During a short comment session after the tour, Granholm spoke on diversifying Michigan’s economy and the importance of projects like the Motown Motion Picture LLC studio complex.“We are focused like a laser on saving what we can of our auto industry and diversifying the economy at the same time,” Granholm said.
A number of colleges and universities are expected to be involved in the Motown Motion Picture project, including Oakland University and Baker College.
Pontiac City Council President Arthur McClellan Jr., who used to work at the GM site, believes the building will be a ideal place to build a movie studio. McClellan works for General Motors.
“I am really excited about the educational component,” McClellan said. “I am looking forward to the groundbreaking.”
Nelson said he expects 700 to 800 students a day to be taking classes at the studio when the classes begin. The film classes should begin by September. There also is expected to be a 200,000-square-foot addition for sound stages added to the building.
Three thousand jobs are expected to be created at the site and an additional 10,000 jobs are expected to be created as a result of the studio being placed in Pontiac, Nelson said.
Nelson said the sale of the building by GM to Motown Motion Picture LLC has been completed.