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No superheroes on Koenig site, owner says



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July 02, 2014 - Move over Lone Ranger because tongues are wagging all over town that another famous masked crusader for justice might be coming to Oxford to fight bad guys.

He doesn't ride a white horse. But he's got a big, black car with lots of gadgets.

Word on the street is that a portion of the new Warner Brothers movie "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice" will be filmed here this month on the Koenig Sand & Gravel property located along Lakeville Rd.

But Peter Fredericks, one of Koenig's owners, insisted no filming is currently scheduled to take place on the 1,200-acre site.

"I've got nothing set to film on our property," he said. "At this point in time, we have no contracts, no commitments . . . We're always trying to see if we can rent the property to different people as part of our operation there. But at this point in time, (the "Batman vs. Superman" rumor is) not correct."

Location scouts regularly approach Koenig about using its diverse and expansive property to film movies.

"I've talked to probably eight scouts in the last three months (about) various movies, but usually, they don't tell us what the movie is," Fredericks said. "They keep that quiet."

"We did do a small movie here last month," Fredericks noted. "It was a small studio out of Troy. They basically had a day-and-a-half shoot for some kind of a movie about a spaceship. But they really don't say a lot."

Fredericks reiterated that right now, he has "no contract, no deal" to be part of the "Batman vs. Superman" project, which is being filmed at various locations in Michigan including neighboring Metamora Township.

"We hope that if they (decide to) do something like that (here), they'll talk to us," he said. "We're continuously talking to location scouts from all over the place."

When asked about Oxford's potential involvement as a filming location for the clash between two legendary figures from the DC Comics universe, both township Supervisor Bill Dunn and Trustee Jack Curtis declined to comment.

Curtis chairs the township's Economic Development Subcommittee, which has been working to attract movie projects to Oxford.

The Michigan Film Office website lists Crown City Pictures as the contact for "Batman vs. Superman." It's the entity that was formed by Warner Brothers to handle this movie.

Dave Rumble, location manager for Crown City Pictures, which has an office in Pontiac, was not willing to comment on Oxford's potential involvement in the movie.

"I have nothing to say about that," he said. "I have no comment. I can't talk to you."

An e-mail was sent to Lee Anne Muldoon, a unit publicist for the project, inquiring as to whether part of the movie will be filmed in Oxford, but she did not reply by press time.

Rumble's business card contains the names "Sage and Milo," which, according to multiple fan websites, is a code name used by film industry insiders for "Batman vs. Superman."

The state awarded "Batman vs. Superman" an incentive of $35 million on $131 million worth of projected in-state expenditures, according to an Aug. 29, 2013 press release issued by the film office. The production is "expected to hire 406 Michigan workers, with a full-time equivalent of 426 jobs, plus an additional 6,000 man/days of extra work."

"The production anticipates using approximately 500 local Michigan vendors during the course of production and spending $5.1 million on local hotels, as well as an additional $3.5 million in out-of-town cast and crew per diem payments that will be spent in the local economy but which fall outside of the incentive program," the press release stated.

Set for release in May 2016, the film stars Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Jason Momoa as Aquaman.

Oxford has already served as a movie location on more than one occasion.

Part of the 2011 movie "Real Steel," starring Hugh Jackman, was filmed in one of American Aggregates' gravel pits.

In 2010, part of the Lifetime Television movie "Close Quarters" was shot on the Koenig property.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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