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OTRC: 'Iron Man 3' photo released, China among filming locations

A behind-the-scenes photo of 'Iron Man 3,' which began filming in North Carolina in late May 2012. (Walt Disney Studios)

"Iron Man 3" recently began production in Wilmington, North Carolina and sees Robert Downey Jr. reprising his role as the superhero and his alter ego, Tony Stark.

The movie is the fourth to star Downey Jr. as Iron Man, following "The Avengers," Walt Disney Studios' and Marvel Comics' record-breaking blockbuster that has earned more than $1.3 billion since its May 4 release. Scenes for "Iron Man 3" will also be filmed in China, Miami, Florida and Raleigh/Durham in North Carolina.

Walt Disney Studios on Monday, June 4, released the first official set photo, which shows several of Stark's powerful armored Iron Man suits displayed in his superhero headquarters. Sure wouldn't want those to fall in the wrong hands...

Celebrity photos of new villain Lt. Col. Eric Savin, aka The Iron Patriot, in his red, white and blue iron suit were posted last week. The character eventually becomes the cyborg villain Coldblood. Savin is portrayed by James Badge Dale.

Gwyneth Paltrow reprises her role as Stark's assistant and love interest Pepper Potts, while Don Cheadle returns to play James "Rhodey" Rhodes, aka ally superhero War Machine. Jon Favreau, who directed the first two "Iron Man" movies, announced on his Twitter page in May that he would reprise his role of Happy Hogan, Stark's bodyguard.

"Iron Man 3" is slated for release on May 3, 2013 and is directed by Shane Black, who helmed the "Lethal Weapon" movies and "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," which starred Downey Jr.

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