As the world welcomes one of cinema’s most iconic characters back to the big screen, one Midwestern town is benefitting from its unique role as hometown of the red-caped superhero.
The small town of Plano, Illinois, with its population of just 11,000, is about as typically American as they come, and perhaps this is why the producers of Man of Steel chose this place as the location for Smallville, Superman’s sleepy little hometown, which plays a major role in the new blockbuster movie.
Ever since the cameras rolled into Plano back in 2011, the town has seen a huge increase in visitors keen to experience Superman’s hometown for themselves. Fans from all over the world fly to the USA and head to Plano to see for themselves their hero's home town.
And now Plano is really making the most of its newfound fame. Resident Jim Martens is chairman of the Smallville Superfest, a new three-day celebration, taking place across the town to celebrate its new association with one of America’s most beloved fictional characters. Martens commented that the movie drew visitors to Plano from far and wide long before its release. “They had to get a piece of the action and see what was going on”, he explained.
Meanwhile, the increase in tourism brought on by the movie has given the town a new lease of life, particularly on its main street. Bob Hausler, Mayor of Plano, explained, “we have seen more and more of the vacancies being filled with retail spaces and other shops”.
So it seems that one small town has been put well and truly on the map by Man of Steel. Proof, if it were needed, that Superman still has the power to capture the hearts and minds of superhero fans everywhere.