WILMINGTON — The third movie in the Iron Man series starring Robert Downey Jr. will be filmed in Wilmington, Gov. Bev Perdue announced today, crediting the states film incentive package with landing the major movie.
Perdue made the announcement at EUE/Screen Gems, which is the largest film production facility east of California. It has been home to numerous major movie and TV projects since setting up shop in Wilmington in the 1980s.
Iron Man 3 is expected to bring more than $80 million into the state, create 550 jobs for crews and more than 1,000 jobs for actors. Marvel Studios plans to work on the movie in North Carolina over the next 10 months.
My top priority is creating jobs, and this film production will mean high-quality, well-paying jobs for North Carolinians, Gov. Perdue said. I pushed hard to get the revamped film incentive passed, with the help of a number of lawmakers, and now we see that initiative doing exactly what it was designed to do.
She said 2011 has been the states busiest year in the film industry, with productions bringing more than $200 million into North Carolina so far. Last year that figure was $73 million.
Marvel Studios has been working with state and local officials for the past six months. Word of the deal first surfaced late last month.
Last month, the Detroit Free Press reported that Michigan had hoped to land the third Iron Man movie in the series, which stars Robert Downey Jr. as the Marvel Comics superhero. Marvel Studios wanted incentives of $20 million to $30 million, but Michigan was initially only able to offer $13 million, the paper report.
Michigans film office eventually upped its offer to $20 million, specifically to match what North Carolina had promised, the newspaper reported. But the studio went with Wilmington because North Carolina already had an incentive package in place that would add up to $20 million, and Michigan could only promise future legislation allowing it to get there.
North Carolina, after initially becoming a film-production destination in the 1980s, eventually lagged behind other states in the race to offer greater financial incentives. But in 2009, the state upped its incentives to a tax credit of 25 percent, making it competitive with several other states.
Last year, North Carolina increased the cap on the tax credit on each production from $7.5 million to $20 million. The state also ended the corporate income tax on the incentive.