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Governor calls Wilmington news conference, expected to announce ‘Iron Man 3’

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington will host an iron man triathlon this weekend, but it could also soon be home to the latest edition of the “Iron Man” movie franchise.

Gov. Bev Perdue has scheduled a 2:30 p.m. news conference for “an economic development announcement.” The event is slated for 1223 N. 23rd Street, which happens to be the address of Screen Gems Studios.

Sources told our affiliate station WTVD in Raleigh “Iron Man 3” will likely film in Wilmington and an announcement could come as early as today. Sources said the deal had not been signed as of last night.

Gov. Perdue is unlikely to announce the possibility of an announcement until all the details are finalized. Perdue’s first visit to Wilmington as governor, on April 1, 2009, was marred by the last-minute cancellation of her planned announcement that Screen Gems Studios would be home to the shooting of the Nicholas Sparks/Miley Cyrus film “The Last Song.” At the last minute, the deal fell through when producers decided to take the production, set in Wrightsville Beach, to the coast of Georgia, because of that state’s better incentives. Perdue later called that her “most humbling day” as governor.

The project has been rumored to be headed for Wilmington for more than a month, after first being reported by the website LatinoReview.com, which cited sources inside Screen Gems Studios. The Detroit Free Press then reported that the Michigan Film Office said the Wolverine State had lost out on the production because of North Carolina’s improved film incentives.

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