Iron Man 3, Happy Holidays

Marvel/Paramount Pictures; Facebook

Iron Man has a Christmas greeting for all the fanboys out there.

Marvel has released a holiday photo featuring Robert Downey Jr. as the heavy metal hero's alter ego, billionaire playboy Tony Stark, standing in a snow-covered landscape sans armor and arms crossed.

Although Tony gazes up at text that reads "Happy Holidays from Tony Stark," the setting doesn't exactly resonate with Christmas cheer as it references a scene in the forthcoming sequel in which our hero is lost in the wilderness without his high-tech suit.

In fact, Downey elaborated on his character's down-and-out situation in a recent interview with Nuts UK (via Comic Book Movie), in which he discussed director Shane Black's desire to take Stark down a dark path for his latest adventure compared to the relatively lighter tone of the Jon Favreau–helmed Iron Man 2.

"I think Shane's gone for a dark feel in this movie. It's a lot grittier and goes back to its comic-book roots," the actor told the magazine. "It's shaped into a really special movie—and Shane has been instrumental in that."

As for Iron Man's latest archenemy, Mandarin, Downey had nothing but praise for the man who plays him, Ben Kingsley.

"I always think there's something more terrifying about a villain who's a genius, as opposed to just relying on strength or ability," he adds. "We all know what a fantastic actor Ben Kingsley is, and he pulls off the evil genius with real terrifying results."

Iron Man 3 wrapped filming last month and is scheduled to hit theaters May 3.

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