Construction on 'Iron Man 3' set hints at possible plot point - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Construction on 'Iron Man 3' set hints at possible plot point

By Jake Seaton

Once shooting has wrapped in the Triangle, the "Iron Man 3" production is set to return to Wilmington, where the bulk of the film will be shot.

Permits obtained by WECT-TV indicate that the production team has requested to shoot at the National Gypsum on Sunnyvale Drive next week. The permits request the use of the location overnight on six different days.

The production has also asked for police officers to help with traffic control on Sunnyvale in both directions after 7 p.m.

The scenes being shot are described as "exterior building scenes involving special effects and stunts." The permit calls for 150 members of the crew, 91 extras and 3 cast members.

Construction at the site hints at an Asian architectural theme, keeping in line with rumors that Sir Ben Kingsley has been cast as the villain The Mandarin. Marvel, however, has not confirmed the presence of the character in "Iron Man 3," nor has the studio made mention of Kingsley’s involvement in the film.

Marvel has said that the production is scheduled to go to China later this year. Earlier this year, a casting call asked for people of Asian heritage.

"Iron Man 3" has been shooting in Cary the past three days, with shoots at Epic Games off Crossroads Blvd. and SAS off Harrison Ave.

Among the stars spotted around the Triangle were Don Cheadle on set at Epic Games and Guy Pearce at the Umstead Hotel & Spa. Eagle-eyed fans have also reported seeing Robert Downey Jr. dribbling a basketball outside Epic Games and a man dressed in a red, white and blue Iron Man-type costume inside the Epic building.

Tuesday evening, actress Gwyneth Paltrow Tweeted that she had "Just arrived in Raleigh, N.C. to start Ironman [sic] 3!" Along with the statement, she asked for restaurant recommendations in the City of Oaks.

She followed the Tweet with a photo on Wednesday along with the comment, "Day 1 on IM3. Pepper Potts! So happy to be here."

During Monday and Tuesday's shoots, fans parading outside Epic Games caught a glimpse of a possibly spoiler-ish sign, indicating the game studio may be used as the backdrop for Advanced Idea Mechanics. The company is a fictionalized terrorist organization in the Marvel universe.

A tree resembling a Christmas Tree was also seen on set, perhaps hinting that the film will take place during the holiday season.

Before Wednesday, Cary Police said drivers should expect police-controlled delays on Weston Parkway from NC 54/Chapel Hill Road to Harrison Avenue between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

While they do not say the closures are specifically related to the "Iron Man 3" shoot, the police department says the closures are to "accommodate activity registered with the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film, and Sports Development."

Production is mainly taking place in and around Wilmington. Principle photography on the film began in late May with a shoot at Cape Fear Club on Chestnut Street in Wilmington, N.C. The shoot called for two cast members and 20 extras.

In April, thousands of people turned out at Crabtree Valley Mall to sign on to be extras in the film "Caged Heat" -- a working title for the "Iron Man 3" production.

That "Iron Man 3" will shoot under the working title "Caged Heat" may be meaningless – much like Michael Bay's "Prime Directive" title for the "Transformers" trilogy – but that hasn't stopped comic book fans from speculating. Many have been quick to point to the title’s similarity to Marvel superhero Luke Cage and the fact that the latest "Iron Man" film may be used as a vehicle to launch a Luke Cage spin-off.

Shane Black will take over directorial duties from Jon Favreau, who helmed the first two "Iron Man" films. Black's credits include 2005's "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," which also starred Downey Jr.

Downey Jr. plays the titular Iron Man in the film, while Cheadle plays U.S. Air Force pilot James "Rhodey" Rhodes (a.k.a. War Machine) and Paltrow plays Pepper Potts, Tony Stark's (Iron Man) assistant and love interest. Favreau will return to the series as Happy Hogan, Stark's chauffeur and personal assistant.

James Badge Dale will reportedly play Eric Savin and Pearce will play Aldrich Killian, though neither of their roles have been confirmed by Marvel.

"Iron Man 3" is set for release May 3, 2013.

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