New Mexico Lands Major Film Project

New Mexico – New Mexico has landed what Gov. Bill Richardson's office is billing as the largest movie production in state history.

Richardson and Marvel Studios' co-president Louis D'Esposito have announced that the comic book-based adventure film "The Avengers" will be shot primarily in New Mexico.

The film is expected to employ hundreds of New Mexican based cast and crew, and use hundreds of local service and supply vendors.

The governor's office says preproduction is already under way. Principal photography is scheduled to run from April through September.

Richardson describes the announcement as a Christmas present of sorts for the people of New Mexico. He says it's a good example of the job creation, economic impact and visibility the movie industry has brought to the state.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.