VICTORIA - A well-known group of superheroes is leaving British Columbia and taking as much as $100 million in movie revenue with them.
Peter Leitch, the president of North Shore Studios, said Thursday "The Fantastic Four Reboot" has moved production to Louisiana because of the lucrative tax incentives offered in that state.
Leitch said the producers decided to move after lawmakers in the state rejected a bill that would have reduced subsidies to the industry.
The cost savings for the producers could be 10 to 20 per cent, quite a savings on a movie that could have a budget of up to $100 million, Leitch said.
"The numbers are getting so big, and the risk is getting so great with these features that costs become more and more of an important issue."
The Fantastic Four is a fictional superhero team based on comic books published by Marvel Comics.
The loss prompted New Democrat MLA George Heyman to accuse the B.C. government of being the bad guy during question period in the legislature.
"This government has succeeded in doing what no other super villain has, and that's to scare away the 'Fantastic Four,'" Heyman said.
"Will the government's message continue to be it's clobbering time for the B.C. film industry?" Heyman said referring to a slogan often used by the movie character, Thing.
Finance Minister Mike de Jong's reply was just as comedic.
"Holy corporate subsidy Batman," he said as other members laughed.
But on the more serious side, de Jong said the B.C. government expects to pay out $380 million this year in subsidies for film and TV labour.
"We think it's a sound investment and it is an investment that has grown dramatically year over year, signalling madam speaker, continued growth in that sector," he told the legislature.
"But it is not a limitless subsidy that British Columbia taxpayers can afford, and we will continue to ensure that an appropriate balance is achieved."
B.C. offers a 33 per cent subsidy on labour and other incentives if the filming is done outside of Metro Vancouver or is for visual effects work.
Leitch said the industry in B.C. can only continue to let producers know about the value they provide after years of experience in the business.
But he also said higher incentives would help keep the B.C. industry in business.
We certainly think the economic benefits outweigh the costs and that creates a whole bunch of jobs with at least 24,000 working in the industry, he added.
"We want to participate in the creative sector. The screen-based industry worldwide is a trillion-dollar industry."
Leitch said B.C. has great centres for visual effects, production crews, film and TV, talent for digital media.
"We're really a one-stop shop here, and there are huge benefits to that. We just have to fight though this period where it gets really tough on the tax-credit side."
Leitch said the B.C. industry will continue to do well if it remains cost effective.
-- by Terri Theodore in Vancouver
Earlier on HuffPost:
Matter-Eater Lad is from the planet Bismoll, where poisonous microbes made all food inedible, forcing the planet's inhabitants to evolve to have the ability to eat any form of matter. Man-Eater Lad can also eat at super-speeds and consume matter otherwise thought to be indestructible, meaning that theoretically, he could eat Superman. (Via <a href="http://www.manolith.com/2010/02/10/15-lamest-superhero-powers/" target="_hplink">Manolith</a>)
Bouncing Boy made his comic book debut in 1961 after young Chuck Taine accidentally drank an experimental super-plastic formula he mistook for soda pop. He then gained the ability to inflate his body like a ball and bounce around without injury. (Via <a href="http://www.weirdworm.com/10-weird-superheroes-you-might-not-have-heard-about/" target="_hplink">Weird Worm</a>)
Arm-Fall-Off Boy's power stems from his ability to -- you guessed it -- detach his limbs and use them to beat evil-doers. Sadly, he was denied entry into the Legion Of Super-Heroes, despite the group inducting the likes of Matter-Eater Lad and Bouncing Boy. By all accounts, Arm-Fall-Off Boy was intended to be a joke character, and he very much was. (Via <a href="http://www.weirdworm.com/10-weird-superheroes-you-might-not-have-heard-about/" target="_hplink">Weird Worm</a>)
This crime-fighting high schooler can communicate with squirrels, but also has super strength, super speed and a retractable knuckle spike. She consumes macadamia nuts for extra strength and even has a squirrel sidekick. Squirrel Girl's crowning achievement is her defeat of the infamous Doctor Doom after she, umm, overwhelmed him with squirrels. (Via <a href="http://marvel.com/universe/Squirrel_Girl" target="_hplink">Marvel</a>)
Jazz appears to be a very special case in the X-Men universe due to the fact that his genetic mutation is not a power, but rather a change to his physical appearance resulting in his skin turning blue. He has no other discernable powers or abilities. However, he is an aspiring rapper. (Via <a href="http://www.weirdworm.com/the-5-dumbest-x-men-characters/" target="_hplink">Weird Worm</a>)
Maggott's superpowers derive from his abnormal digestive system, which consists of two mutant, sentient slugs named Eany and Meany who live inside his body. The slugs are able to leave his body, quickly digest and absorb the power of any object, and then return and transmit the energy back to Maggott. In doing so, the slugs give Maggott superhuman strength, speed and stamina. For the slugs to exit and enter Maggott's digestive system, they need to eat through his skin. Yum! (Via <a href="http://www.comicsalliance.com/2009/11/23/strangest-most-bizarre-superpowers-comics/" target="_hplink">Comic's Alliance</a>)
When Rick Raleigh isn't working as the assistant to Superior City's District Attorney, he's fighting crime under the guise of Red Bee. Red Bee has a swarm of trained bees stored in his belt to unleash on criminals at the ready. It is unknown how he trained the bees or how he is able to keep them in his belt (don't ask too many questions) but Red Bee is not to be confused with <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowjacket_(Charlton_Comics)" target="_hplink">Yellowjacket</a>, who can also control bees. (Via <a href="http://www.dcindexes.com/indexes/indexes.php?character=192" target="_hplink">DC Indexes</a>)
Alex Cluney has a very distinctive mutant power which enables him to spew acidic vomit from his mouth. Tragically, he discovered his power while making out with a girl; he vomited acid all over her and burned her face (thankfully she survived). His vomit is highly acidic, able to burn through 10-centimeter-thick steel in less than 30 seconds. Hopefully he also carries mints. (Via <a href="http://www.weirdworm.com/the-5-dumbest-x-men-characters/" target="_hplink">Weird Worm</a>)
Drura Sehpt hails from the planet Somahtur, whose inhabitants can easily infect others with various diseases while they themselves remain immune to its effects. After travelling to Earth, Drura became Infectious Lass and began fighting crime, although her powers sometimes do as much harm as they do good, especially when she accidentally infects other heroes with illnesses. Oops! (Via <a href="http://www.comicvine.com/infectious-lass/29-47108/" target="_hplink">Comic Vine</a>)
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Dori Aandraison, also known as Rainbow Girl, can wield the mysterious power of the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_spectrum" target="_hplink">Emotional Spectrum</a>, meaning that she has the ability to give herself unpredictable mood swings (ladies, amiright?!). Having always wanted to become an actress, she aspired to join the Legion Of Super Heroes in order to gain notoriety, but instead had to settle for the Legion Of Substitute Heroes. (Via <a href="http://www.comicvine.com/rainbow-girl/29-51582/" target="_hplink">Comic Vine</a>)
Anarchist, one of the founding members of the X-Statix mutant superhero group, has the ability to secrete acidic sweat. His sweat allows him to project acidic blasts of energy. He and Zeitgeist should probably talk. (Via <a href="http://www.comicvine.com/anarchist/29-12913/" target="_hplink">Comic Vine</a>)
In the 1940s, infant Richard Grey Jr. was with his parents on a scientific expedition in Mongolia when their caravan was attacked. Richard was the only survivor and was adopted by a group of hyper-intelligent condors who raised him and somehow taught him to fly (we don't want to know). Eventually, he would move to America and adopt the guise of Black Condor, the name he would use to fight corrupt politicians and racketeers. (The Black Condor was later reintroduced as a new character several times by DC Comics, who revised his backstory and changed the origin of his powers.) (Via <a href="http://www.comicvine.com/richard-grey-jr/29-30198/" target="_hplink">Comic Vine</a>)
Brian Cruz's genetic mutation allows him to force people to uncontrollably run away from whatever object or person he chooses, hence the alias "Tag." He uses a psionic signal which forces anyone within a radius of approximately 100 feet to either run away from or run directly at a target source. When applying his power, he always yells, "You're it!". Clever. (Via <a href="http://www.manolith.com/2010/02/10/15-lamest-superhero-powers/" target="_hplink">Manolith</a>)
Tar Baby's genetic mutation grants him the ability to secrete an adhesive, tar-like substance, allowing him to stick to whatever objects he chooses. Sadly, Tar Baby was captured by the Weapon X program (known for performing experiments on mutants) and put to death in a mutant concentration camp. (Via <a href="http://www.manolith.com/2010/02/10/15-lamest-superhero-powers/" target="_hplink">Manolith</a>)
Dead Girl's mutant powers were activated by her death (shocker) which allowed her to continuously reanimate her corpse and come back to life, essentially making her immortal. Additionally, she can communicate with other dead beings, survive without any food, water or oxygen, and control severed parts of her body. And guys, she's single. (Via <a href="http://www.comicvine.com/dead-girl/29-11483/" target="_hplink">Comic Vine</a>)
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Brother Power The Geek
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Robbie Rodriguez, another member of the X-Statix mutant group, has no discernable powers aside from a telepathic connection to a flying, seemingly sentient skateboard. He can control the skateboard with his mind, though the skateboard can also act through his subconscious thoughts. Sadly, after the skateboard falls under a curse, it flies out of control and impales El Guapo through the heart, killing him. Ironic, isn't it? (Via <a href="http://www.comicvine.com/el-guapo/29-43412/" target="_hplink">Comic Vine</a>)