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North Carolina residents are likely already pumped about Tony Stark coming to town, given the recent news that Iron Man 3 shooting will take place primarily in the coastal city of Wilmington. Now local fans have a chance not to just hang around the fringes of the set looking for glimpses of Robert Downey Jr., but to actually get on camera themselves. On Location Vacations, an excellent source for information about location shoots and local casting, has pointed to this announcement on the Facebook page of Wilmington-based Premier Casting, with news that the Iron Man 3 production will require about 1,000 extras during its time in North Carolina, from May 2012 to January 2013.

Local people with filmmaking experience can rejoice too-- there will be over 550 crew jobs available as well. It's unclear when casting or hiring will take place, but the May start likely means things won't get started until at least next year. Given the rushed production of Iron Man 2, though, even that luxuriously long production time is good news. With Jon Favreau leaving the franchise and Tony Stark possibly overextending himself by appearing in The Avengers, Iron Man 3 is dealing with a lot of factors that could potentially work against it. At least a rushed production schedule won't be one of them.

The movie is set for release on May 3, 2013, and it will likely be that long before we find out if the third time can be a charm for Iron Man and company. If the rule of superhero movies is that the first one is good and the second one is great-- think Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight, X2 etc.-- Iron Man has already broken the mold with a subpar sequel. Maybe Iron Man 3 will be the best yet-- and if you're in Wilmington, you now have the chance to be part of it.