Spider-Man Gets the Green Light to Film In Atlanta Schools That Remain Closed To Students

Brittany M. Hughes | December 3, 2020
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Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a…

…public school student can’t, apparently. 

While Atlanta kids can’t attend in-person classes in their regular taxpayer-funded buildings, it turns out the cast of the third installment of Spider-Man have been welcomed with a red carpet after Marvel was granted a special exception to use two Atlanta school buildings as filming locations for the movie. 

This is despite the fact that tens of thousands of school children haven’t been able to attend in-person class in those same buildings for "safety" reasons, and have instead been learning entirely online since April. School officials say it’s likely they won’t reopen schools for in-person learning until January, at the earliest.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ian Easterbrook, the movie’s location manager, begged school officials for an exception to the district’s rule, which had temporarily banned schools from being used as filming locations during the pandemic. When that failed, he appealed to the school board and offered a $50,000 bribe donation, which won the movie an exception to the rule and permission to film in two school locations – once in January, and another in March.

The AJC obtained an email Easterbrook wrote to the school board, saying that while “I know that APS is currently not accepting filming applications due to the COVID pandemic, and I know that filming a new movie quickly falls to the bottom of the priority list,” filming at these locations were “vital to the success of this next film” because the schools had already been used in the another Spider-Man movie.

The school system will also rake in $750 a day for preparation and tear down, $2,500 a day for filming privileges, and staff compensation – all while the district’s students struggle with subpar online learning models and the lack of physical access to teachers and one-on-one help, and while their parents struggle to balance at-home learning with their own jobs.


(Cover Photo: Gage Skidmore)