12:43pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Iron Man 3' Leaving Los Angeles for North Carolina's EUE/Screen Gems Studios
The third installment of Marvel Studios' Iron Man franchise is setting up shop in North Carolina. EUE/Screen Gems and North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue announced in a press conference Thursday that the studios' Wilmington outpost will host the bulk of the film's production.
Marvel filmed both Iron Man and Iron Man 2 both at its own Manhattan Beach studios in California, where it reportedly considered producing the threequel, along with locations in Michigan and New Mexico.
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"We aggressively pursued this piece of business,” said EUE/Screen Gems co-owner and COO Chris Cooney. “This film is a game changer—not only for our studios, but for the entire state of North Carolina. It feels great to bring this project to Wilmington, a place where we’ve invested emotionally and financially since 1996. Today, our vision becomes reality.”
Cooney cited North Carolina's 25-percent film incentive and the studio's 150,000-square-foot facility as factors in Marvel's decision.
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Iron Man 3 marks the largest production to come to Wilmington, which has previously hosted films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer and 28 Days and the television series Dawson's Creek.
Starring Robert Downey Jr., the original Iron Man took in $585 million worldwide 2008. Its 2010 sequel had an international take of $624 million. Iron Man 3 is set to move into its Wilmington offices in early 2012, with a scheduled release date of May 3, 2013.