Cary, N.C. — Superhero fans and the local media got a little taste of Hollywood in Cary Monday as Marvel Studio's blockbuster "Iron Man 3" started its first day of production at the Epic Games studios.
EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington is serving as the base for the high-profile movie starring Robert Downey Jr., but it's also being shot at locations in the Triangle, Miami and China.
Fans, along with camera-toting paparazzi photographers, lined up outside the Epic Games studios, where a convoy of RVs, trailers and tents had set up camp.
"I want to see Robert Downey Jr. walking by, cup of coffee in his hand. That's about it. That's as much as I can hope for really," superhero fan Loren Armitage, of Raleigh, said.
Star Don Cheadle, who plays James "Rhodey" Rhodes, was reportedly at the shoot in Cary Monday, but Downey, who plays crime-fighting billionaire inventor Tony Stark, and Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays Stark's long-time assistant, weren't.
Scenes were being shot inside and outside the Epic Games studios, where a large Christmas tree was set up on the front lawn.
Movie fan Megan Mercer-Bourne said she hadn't been lucky enough so far to see much activity past the perimeter of the shoot.
"Just landscaping," she laughed. "They came and delivered some mulch. They're laying out some flowers now."
Movie fans from as far as New York managed to make their way to Cary, including one man, known only as "Radio Man" because of the big radio he wears around his neck.
"I just love to be around scenes and the set. I love this kind of stuff," he said.
He came with his bike on a bus in hopes of getting in the film. The former homeless man has made more than 100 cameos in TV and films, including movies starring Johnny Depp, Dustin Hoffman and Pierce Brosnan.
"Iron Man 3" will be shot over the next 10 months and will be released in 2013. State government officials expect that its production will create about 1,550 jobs and generate more than $80 million for North Carolina.
The movie was drawn to North Carolina, in part, by a 25 percent tax credit for production companies spending a minimum of $250,000 that the state has offered since 2010.