LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Bringing a little bit of movie magic to Southern Nevada looked like a real possibility when the Legislature held hearings on “The Film Bill,” but the Hollywood ending fizzled Monday in Carson City.

In the rush to end the session on time, the Legislature ran out of time for Senate Bill 496 (SB496). But it’s not exactly on the cutting room floor.

“We remain fully engaged in conversation with the governor and state leadership to help diversify Nevada’s economy and bring a thriving film industry to our state,” David O’Reilly, CEO of The Howard Hughes Corporation, told

“We are grateful for the visionary leadership of all our elected officials who have worked tirelessly to help facilitate this transformative opportunity for Nevada. As a long-term community builder, The Howard Hughes Corporation is committed to continuing this important conversation in partnership with our elected officials,” O’Reilly said.

As details around SB496 came out, O’Reilly was a central figure in the agreement with Sony Pictures to establish a presence in Summerlin South, on land just northeast of Flamingo Road and the 215 Beltway. And while the Legislature might not hammer out the tax breaks for TV/movie production immediately, O’Reilly’s comments are a signal that the project isn’t going away.

SB496 was a massive package of tax breaks worth $190 million per year for the next 20 years. During testimony, O’Reilly and others said the studios were excited at the prospects of coming here because of the long-term investments included in the bill.

In total, the bill provided $4.6 billion in tax credits over the life of the project.

But while movie executives and developers rallied around the incentives, other voices were also present. Concerns about foregoing tax revenue has been a growing narrative as the state looks to spend wisely coming out of the pandemic.

When O’Reilly appeared on the steps of the Nevada Legislature with Mark Wahlberg, reporters gathered around to listen. Construction jobs and a partnership with UNLV heightened the allure of movie studios. SB496 sponsor Sen. Roberta Lange touted the bill as a great way to truly diversify the economy.

In testimony during the bill hearing, Southern Nevada’s existing film industry had two sides to the story: excitement over growing opportunities, but also the reality that promises to use local workers were already being trampled here and in other states that pursued deals with movie studios.

The existing Nevada film tax credit is worth $15 million per year, and these productions are claiming parts of it in 2023:

  • Boneyard,” an indie crime thriller starring Mel Gibson and 50 Cent. Production started on April 3.
  • The Wrecker,” starring Harvey Keitel, Tyreese Gibson and Danny Trejo. Production started on Feb. 27.
  • Saturday Night Lights,” a movie about kids breaking into NASCAR racing. Production started April 1.
  • Stoney’s,” a TV series based on the personal and professional lives of staff members working at Stoney’s Rockin’ Country bar. Production started in early March.
  • Sympathy for the Devil,” starring Nicolas Cage and Joel Kinnaman. Production scheduled to start July 25.
  • Street Outlaws: Fastest in America,” in production outside of Las Vegas in July/August.
  • BattleBots: Season 7,” the popular Discovery show … “Brace yourself, it’s Robot Fighting Time!”