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THOR, IRON MAN Sequels Firm Up Casts

The Avengers is headed to theaters in just a few months and with pre-production on both Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 in full swing, some interesting revelations about both films have been released via Disney Film Auditions.

Iron Man 3 starts shooting on May 21st in the Wilmington, NC area and other locations in North Carolina through September 7, 2012.

In this third installment of the Marvel Studios film adaptations of “Iron Man”, the storyline is being described by writer/director Shane Black as being a Tom Clancy-thriller, with Iron Man fighting real world villains. Black stated “the studio wasn’t happy with the result of Iron Man 2, a result that pretty much came about due to a rushed production in an attempt to hit a release date rather than simply make a good film, but I digress. Iron Man 3 will not be another ‘two men in iron suits fighting each other’.

According to the press release, “two-time Academy Award nominated Robert Downey Jr. will reprise his roles as as Tony Stark, an industrialist and master engineer who builds a powered exoskeleton and becomes the technologically advanced superhero, Iron Man. Scarlett Johansson will return from “Iron Man 2” playing Natasha Romanoff aka “The Black Widow”, and Gwyneth Paltrow plays Stark’s closest friend, love interest, and business partner Pepper Potts. Don Cheadle, who replaced Terrence Howard after the first “Iron Man”, returns as Lt. Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes – Stark’s personal pilot, chief aviation engineer for Stark International, and one of Stark’s closest friends.”

No mention of the villain yet, and although not officially announced, it has been previously mentioned that Iron Man 1 & 2 director Jon Favreau would reprise his role as Stark’s bodyguard Happy Hogan.

Iron Man 3 will be released Memorial Day weekend 2013.

Thor 2, “will take Thor literally to other worlds. It will primarily be the journey of that character, of he and Jane Foster and how the new dynamic with his father is working out, as well as what are the broader stakes for The Nine Worlds.”

Filming primarily in London (with additional photography in Los Angeles), Thor 2 is expected to begin production this summer.

Returning for this second “Thor” installment is virtually the entire main cast from the original film. People’s Choice Award and Teen Choice Award nominee Chris Hemsworth as Thor; Academy Award winner Natalie Portman as Jane Foster; Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins as Odin; BAFTA Award nominee Tom Hiddleston as Loki; Screen Actors Guild Award and Teen Choice Award nominee Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig; Golden Globe winner Idris Elba as Heimdall; British actor Ray Stevenson as Volstagg; Asian Film Awards nominee Tadanobu Asano as Hogun; Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films nominee Jaimie Alexander as Sif; Kentucky native Joshua Dallas as Fandral; and Screen Actors Guild Award and MTV Movie Award nominee Rene Russo as Frigga.

Thor 2 will be directed by Game of Thrones Emmy winning director Alan Taylor from a screenplay written by Robert Rodat, original drafts by Don Payne based on the Marvel Comics by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and Larry Lieber.

Kenneth Branagh who directed Thor will stay on in a producing capacity.

Other Marvel films in development include Ant Man from director Edgar Wright, and presumably, Captain America 2 and Avengers 2.

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