Mar 29, 2021 - News

Minnesota-less "Mighty Ducks" renews call for state film credits

Emilio Estevez as Gordon Bombay in the Mighty Ducks franchise

Gordon Bombay, played by Emilio Estevez, is back in the "Mighty Ducks" reboot. Minnesota is not. Photo: Disney+

Emilio Estevez is back for a new reboot of the "Mighty Ducks" franchise on Disney+, but Minnesota's landscape was left on the sidelines.

  • In addition to disappointing hometown fans, the decision is fueling a debate over the state's lack of tax incentives for filming.

Driving the news: Unlike the 1990s movies, none of the "Mighty Ducks: Game Changers" series was shot in Minnesota, even though it takes place in the state.

  • That means no Rice Park, no Mall of America and no frozen Minneapolis lakes for the rest of the world to see.

What they're saying: Creator Steven Brill called out the lack of credits as a factor in the location choice.

  • "When we started planning the show, I hoped and prayed we'd shoot in Minnesota. I wrote it with that in mind," he told the Star Tribune. "It just wasn't possible."

Why it matters: Minnesota is missing out on spending, jobs and publicity that comes with a TV series, Minnesota Film and TV executive director Melodie Bahan told Axios.

  • Producers also passed over Minnesota when shooting FX's "Fargo" reboot and "Clouds," a Disney+ movie about the late Zach Sobiech of Lakeland.

The fix: Bahan is cautiously optimistic that a proposal enhancing Minnesota's incentives will be included in a larger tax bill this session.

  • The bill would provide a 25% credit for film production costs, capped at $25 million annually for 10 years.
  • "Without a tax credit, we're just going to keep losing those Minnesota stories," Bahan said.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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