This week MCU: Location Scout looks at the locations that make up Stark Industries from Iron Man 3.
LOCATION: Stark Industries (SAS Executive Briefing Center, 820 SAS Campus Dr, Cary, NC & Archie K. Davis Conference Center, Durham, NC)
SHOW: Iron Man 3
When it came time to make Iron Man 3 in 2013, the production was no longer centered in the Los Angeles area, as had been done with both previous Iron Man films. Marvel Studios had decided to film this threequel in the Wilmington, North Carolina area. That meant changing the look of Stark Industries a bit from what had been shown in the original Iron Man. In fact, two different locations were used to replicate the look of Tony Stark’s company, while a third has been rumored to have been part of the filming as well.
The first glimpse the audience gets of Stark Industries, is the aerial view, as shown above. This is a completely different configuration than seen in Iron Man, and as of this writing, the reference buildings and parking lots used for that shot are still unidentified. If you have any thoughts or insights as to the location of these buildings (which were part of a university of business park according to the VFX team) please feel free to contact me at MCULocations on Twitter.
SAS Executive Briefing Center (Interior)
The first glimpse of the interiors of Stark Industries is Happy Hogan waking through the lobby, reminding employees to please wear their badges. These couple brief shots were filmed on the SAS Campus at their Executive Briefing Center. SAS is an analytic software company located in Cary, North Carolina – about two hours from Wilmington, where the films’ studio was located. To find out more about how SAS was chosen to represent Stark Industries, you can read their blog post about it.
Archie K. Davis Conference Center
The remainder of the interior scenes, which include a smaller lobby where Happy keeps a wary eye on Savin, and the CEO’s office where Pepper Potts entertains Aldrich Killian, were all shot at the Archie Davis Conference Center at Research Triangle Park. This small, private conference center is about 20 minutes away from SAS in Durham, North Carolina.
SAS Executive Briefing Center (Exterior)
The final location, which is the exterior of the Stark offices, was filmed at the same location as the initial lobby shot, the Executive Briefing Center. Much of this sequence, of Pepper saying goodbye to Killian, and Happy snapping a photo of the mysterious Savin was filmed in tight close-ups making the exact identity of this location difficult to prove. But fortunately, a deleted scene from the films BluRay release shows a wider angle of the front of the building.
Epic Games (Deleted Scenes)
Searching online will show a number of stories and images that link to proof that Epic Games was also a filming location. For a long time, the Map associated with this blog identified Epic Games as the exterior locations for Stark Industries. Further research into this location indicates that Epic Games scenes, which may have been shot inside or out, are from deleted scenes. They also appear to have been the headquarters for Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM) which is Aldrich Killian’s company in the film. One final giveaway that the locations are different are the decorations on the giant Christmas trees: Stark/SAS has blue and silver balls, while AIM/Epic has red balls.
I would also like to extend a huge ‘thank you’ to Mark at SAS for allowing me access to Executive Briefing Center, and a campus tour, in order to get the exclusive photos in this weeks post. Stay tuned for more exciting discoveries about the filming locations of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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Behind every scene in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a location. Some are iconic. Some are functional. Some are completely fantastic. But all of them are there to support the story.
Here at the MCU: Location Scout, Jovial Jay digs deep to uncover the real-world filming locations behind your favorite super hero films. From Iron Man to Avengers: Endgame and everything in between!
Having grown up on comics, television and film, “Jovial” Jay feels destined to host podcasts and write blogs related to the union of these nerdy pursuits. Among his other pursuits he administrates and edits stories at the two largest Star Wars fan sites on the ‘net (Rebelscum.com, TheForce.net), and co-hosts the Jedi Journals podcast over at the ForceCast network.