Something occurred to me when I re-watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier the other night. More Marvel cinematic heroes and villains have battled in one Cleveland intersection than anywhere else in the world.
The intersection is E. 9th Street and Euclid, in the heart of Cleveland’s financial district and along its theater and health corridor. Spider-Man and Sandman battled on the asphalt under the traffic light there (Spider-Man 3). The Avengers destroyed the Chitauri in the skies among its border buildings (The Avengers). And Nick Fury was pursued straight through the intersection by Hydra agents. Oh, and if that building looks familiar, that's where Captain America saved a bank full of customers in The Avengers and where Bucky was holed up with his Hydra keepers in The Winter Solider.
Pretty amazing when you think about it. Quite possibly, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made a bigger impact in this small block than anywhere else in the world.
Now, we’re not counting studio lots and green screens. We’re talking on-location work. Sure, you can go to California and New York to tour the neighborhoods where Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four appeared. You can travel to New Mexico and North Carolina for more Avengers action. And you can visit the U.K. and Australia to fulfill all your X-Men on-location desires.
But if you stand on the corner of Euclid and E. 9th, there’s a very good chance you will be whisked directly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because, like a black hole, the gravitational pull is more powerful when it’s concentrated in a small space.
Not so secret origin
It started back in 2008 when Sam Raimi sent a second unit to Cleveland to shoot the armored car chase in Spider-Man 3. He chose the intersection for a key action scene midway through the film. You can see that pursuit as it tears west from Playhouse Square and ends with a flipped armored car right there at E. 9th and Euclid.
Then came 2011’s on-location work for The Avengers. The block south of E. 9th and Euclid was torn apart, replicating a Chitauri attack. Captain America, Hawkeye, Thor, the Black Widow, Iron Man and the Hulk (the former two in CGI) all make appearances steps from the intersection.
And then, in 2013, the Winter Soldier crew continues the tradition with another chase west on Euclid through what we must now call Cleveland’s four-color intersection with the Marvel Universe.
Make Mine Marvel – at the corner of E.9th and Euclid
So what does this all mean? Why point out this super cool fact? Other than it’s overall super-coolness?
Because, as comic book and film fans, it’s time to celebrate. Right?
How do we do that?
How about we start with a landmark at the intersection that memorializes Cleveland’s influence on the MCU? Great fun for tourists on their way to Progressive Field or Playhouse Square or E. 4th Street.
Next, let's encourage Marvel Studios to use this intersection as a touchstone for as many of its projects as possible. (I had high hopes Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. were headed back there when they did an Ohio-centric show in its first season.)
Bring more MCU to CLE
There is no reason Marvel’s upcoming Netflix shows – Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist – shouldn’t consider shooting some or part of their series in Cleveland. Spider-Man 3, The Avengers and Cap 2 all had great experiences and unprecedented access to the city and its stellar crews and cast. Maybe consider it for The Defenders?
Plus, the intersection is ripe with great locations already.
PNC Tower, right there on the corner, can pose as Rand-Meachum Industries. Heroes for Hire’s headquarters can occupy retail space below the Huntington Bank building. And any of the alleyways or brick buildings tucked into the blocks surrounding E. 9th and Euclid could've doubled as Daredevil’s Hell’s Kitchen.
With such a powerful concentration of Marvel mojo right there in that one block, shouldn’t Agent Coulson and his Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. investigate? Maybe discover a connection to another Marvel universe? An ultimate universe, perhaps? Right there under that manhole cover at E. 9th and Euclid?
Or set an episode of Agent Carter in Cleveland. In the 1940s, Cleveland was as popular and prosperous as any major U.S. city. Heck, the Indians won a World Series and the Browns crushed all opponents way back when.
I think this is the way to go.
So Make Mine Marvel. And keep making my Marvel movies at the corner of E. 9th and Euclid!