Changing Lanes, starring Ben Affleck and Sweet Home Alabama, starring Reese Witherspoon, will be the first features to shoot in Manhattan following the Sept. 11th attacks, the Mayor's Office of Theater, Film and Broadcasting announced Wednesday.
The unit suspended issuing permits following the devastation at the World Trade Center. It indicated that it has also issued permits for refilming certain scenes in Spider-Man, Stuart Little 2 and Men in Black 2, which included shots of the WTC. (A battle at the end of Men in Black 2, originally shot at the WTC, is being refilmed at the Chrysler Building, the New York Post reported.)
Television production in the city was expected to resume today for an episode of NBC's Third Watch shooting in Harlem.
On the other hand, removing the World Trade Center buildings from scenes may backfire, the New York Post suggested today.
Commenting that "Hollywood may have misread the nation's mercurial mood," the newspaper observed that on the website Hollywood.com, users voted 78 percent to 22 percent to keep images of the Twin Towers in films. It also noted that some audiences have applauded the glimpse of the two buildings in the new movie Glitter, while some preview audiences for the upcoming Zoolander "squirmed in their seats" when they noticed that the towers were missing in one of the scenes.
A spokesman for Paramount Classics, which is distributing Sidewalks of New York, told the Post: "Based on audiences across the country standing up and applauding our trailer, we will most definitely leave in the two seconds of film that shows the World Trade Center in the background. That brief reminder seems to be a source of pride for a lot of filmgoers."