Superhero fans and the paparazzi got a little taste of Hollywood in Cary Monday as Marvel Studio’s blockbuster “Iron Man 3” started its first day of production at the Epic Games studios.

EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington is serving as the base for the high-profile movie starring Robert Downey Jr., but it’s also being shot at locations in the Triangle, Miami and China.

Fans, along with camera-toting paparazzi photographers, lined up outside the Epic Games studios, where a convoy of RVs, trailers and tents had set up camp.

“I want to see Robert Downey Jr. walking by, cup of coffee in his hand. That’s about it. That’s as much as I can hope for really,” superhero fan Loren Armitage, of Raleigh, said.

Star Don Cheadle, who plays James “Rhodey” Rhodes, was reportedly at the shoot in Cary Monday, but Downey, who plays crime-fighting billionaire inventor Tony Starke, and Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays, Starke’s long-time assistant, weren’t.

Scenes were being shot inside and outside the Epic Games studios, where a large Christmas tree was set up on the front lawn.

Movie fan Megan Mercer-Bourne said she hadn’t been lucky enough so far to see much activity past the perimeter of the shoot.

“Just landscaping,” she laughed. “They came and delivered some mulch. They’re laying out some flowers now.”

“Iron Man 3” will be shot over the next 10 months and will be released in 2013. State government officials expect that its production will create about 1,550 jobs and generate more than $80 million for North Carolina.

The movie was drawn to North Carolina, in part, by a 25 percent tax credit for production companies spending a minimum of $250,000 that the state has offered since 2010.