ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Comic book super heroes will gather in New Mexico next spring when Marvel Productions begins shooting what is described as the largest feature film ever made in the state, the governor's office announced Wednesday.
Iron Man, The Hulk, Captain America and Thor, already familiar to Marvel readers of "The Avengers" series, are scheduled to display their powers for the cameras at Albuquerque Studios from April through September. The finished production has a release date of May 4, 2012, according to the movie's website .
Production of "The Avengers" will occupy all the available space at Albuquerque Studios and is expected to employ hundreds of New Mexico-based crew actors and service and supply vendors.
Starring in the production are Robert Downey Jr. , Chris Evans , Chris Hemsworth , Mark Ruffalo , Jeremy Renner , Scarlett Johansson, Clark Gregg and Samuel L. Jackson . Their heroic characters assembled in the first Avengers comic book Marvel published in 1963.
"In addition to being our biggest production to date, The Avengers will be the most technologically advanced and will provide cutting-edge training opportunities for our crew," Gov. Bill Richardson said in the statement released through the New Mexico Film Office . "I'm announcing this as a Christmas present of sorts to the people of New Mexico."
A New Mexico connection to the growing library of Marvel Studios movies was established in Iron Man 2 when Thor's hammer was believed to have been discovered here. Additionally a significant portion of "Thor," scheduled for release in May 2011, was filmed in the state.
"We are incredibly excited to be returning to New Mexico with The Avengers," Louis D'Esposito, co-resident of Marvel Studios, said. "We had a terrific experience shooting portions of Thor in the Land of Enchantment, and we are looking forward to making New Mexico even more of a home on our next production.
"The Avengers is our biggest film to date, and New Mexico is the right place for us to shoot the film."
According to the governor's office during Richardson's tenure the state has hosted more than 150 film and television productions with an estimated impact of $4 billion directly and indirectly supporting 10,000 jobs.
The state has lured those productions in part through a 25 percent rebate on taxes paid on production expenses and a loan program of up to $15 million per production. The rebates and incentives have become more controversial during the state's ongoing budget crisis and are again expected to be an issue when the Legislature convenes next month with Republican Gov. Susana Martinez in office.
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