Hollywood blew up my hometown

My hometown of Plano, IL has experienced a lot in the last 20 years. It’s doubled in size as the county in which it sits, Kendall County, became one of the fastest-growing in the country in the 2000s. The football team won back-to-back state titles in 2006 and 2007.

Perhaps the coolest development occurred in the summer of 2011, when Plano doubled as Smallville, Kansas, the fictional hometown of Superman, for the movieĀ Man of Steel.

Film crews added stores, gas stations and various other elements, few of which remain today. After two years of seeing glimpses of the downtown in stills, magazine features and trailers the movie is finally out.

I enjoyed it. As an origin story, I think it’s up there with the original Iron Man. Casting was solid, as were most of the performances. The first two thirds of the movie were strong. The end was a bit bloated, resembling the gratuitous destruction CG of thinner movies like the Transformers series. Worth the money–especially if you go to a rare 2D showing.

Here are some pictures I took while visiting in early July 2011. The last photo was from the end credits of the movie.

A news report from WGN:

A news report from the time of filming: