Sept. 09--Fans hoping to sneak a peek at this summer's super(hero)-sized local production of "Iron Man 3" have their chance thanks to the digital high definition release of the film.
Now available through various online retailers including iTunes and Amazon Instant Video, the Marvel flick comes equipped with a slew of special features that detail the film's production from all angles -- including those parts played by the Port City and its surrounding areas.
In a feature titled "'Iron Man 3' Unmasked," cast and crew can be seen filming in locations including the Port of Wilmington, the Cape Fear River and EUE/Screen Gems studios.
While at the port, the production used the yard's towering cranes to shoot the film's climactic action sequence in which Iron Man battles an army of superhumans amid explosions, gunfire and helicopters.
"Shooting (at the Port) is amazing, but it is obviously a logistical challenge," said Stephen Broussard, executive producer of the film. In order to capture both the massive scale of the sequence and the smaller fights that took place on the cranes, crews shot at the port for several nights before transitioning to the studio stages where they reassembled portions of the cranes for "more controlled" filming.
"We have taken apart different pieces of the actual structure... so that we can go in with our actors and shoot all of the amazing action that is needed to make this sequence work," Broussard said while on set.
Crews also were saddled with the daunting task of creating an aerial scene that finds Iron Man saving passengers thrown from Air Force One midair. Detailed in a feature called "Deconstructing The Scene," the sequence required more than 600 skydiving jumps, including test jumps and those seen in the film. The rescue culminates in Iron Man safely dropping the passengers into what was actually the Cape Fear River -- a process that required stunt people be suspended 160 feet over the river on a 15-zipline rig.
Kevin Feige, producer of "Iron Man 3" and president of production for Marvel Entertainment, praised crews for the success of the sequence. "It is the biggest thing we have ever done in any of our films, including the first two 'Iron Man' films and 'The Avengers,'" Feige said.
Film fans who don't download the digital version of the film won't miss out on the behind-the-scenes exclusives, which will be available on the Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray releases of the film that hit stores Sept. 24. Also included are deletes scenes and a special "Marvel One Shot" short film created exclusively for the release.
After opening the summer box office season on May 3, "Iron Man 3" went on to make more than $408 million domestically and more than $1.2 billion worldwide. It ranks as the highest-grossing film of the year and 13th highest-grossing film of all time.
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