State tourism officials are taking advantage of the blockbuster success of “Iron Man 3.”
The summer’s first must-see movie opened last Friday and easily became the top film in the nation. Much of the movie was filmed in North Carolina. Filmmakers transformed coastal Wilmington, small-town Rose Hill and suburban Cary into California, Tennessee, Florida and even Afghanistan for the high-tech adventure.
To help travelers find the scenery where fast-paced action unfolds, the North Carolina Division of Tourism has created a trip planner that identifies key locations and places visited by Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce. The online planner can be found at VisitNC.com/ironman3.
The third film in the “Iron Man” series is being hailed as the best yet. In fact, one critic even called it, “the best Marvel Studios film to date.” The Hollywood Reporter alluded to a fixture on the Wilmington landscape by saying that “the climax takes full nocturnal visual advantage of a giant mechanized shipping port.”
“Iron Man 3” joins a list of more than 800 movies and TV series that have been filmed in North Carolina, a top choice for filmmakers for three decades. Officials say a flurry of recent projects has heightened interest in travel destinations like Charlotte, where “Homeland” and “Banshee” are filmed; Wilmington (“Revolution,” “We’re the Millers,” “Under the Dome”), Southport (“Safe Haven”) and the Asheville area (“The Hunger Games”). “Blue Velvet,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “One Tree Hill,” “Matlock,” “Last of the Mohicans,” “The Fugitive” and “Bull Durham” were also filmed in the Tarheel State.