‘Iron Man 3′: Robert Downey Jr. hits the road for Marvel blockbuster

April 04, 2013 | 6:23 p.m.

Robert Downey Jr. celebrates his 48th birthday April 4 during the South Korea tour for "Iron Man 3." (Walt Disney / Marvel)

Robert Downey Jr. celebrates his birthday in Tony Stark fashion during the South Korea tour for "Iron Man 3." (Walt Disney / Marvel)

Robert Downey Jr. celebrates his 48th birthday April 4 during the South Korea tour for "Iron Man 3." (Walt Disney / Marvel)

Robert Downey Jr. celebrates his 48th birthday April 4 during the South Korea tour for "Iron Man 3." (Walt Disney / Marvel)

Robert Downey Jr. celebrates his 48th birthday April 4 during the South Korea tour for "Iron Man 3." (Walt Disney / Marvel)

Robert Downey Jr. celebrates his 48th birthday April 4 during the South Korea tour for "Iron Man 3." (Walt Disney / Marvel)

Robert Downey Jr. celebrates his 48th birthday April 4 during the South Korea tour for "Iron Man 3." (Walt Disney / Marvel)

“Iron Man 3″ won’t open in U.S. theaters until May 3, but leading man Robert Downey Jr., along with some of the film’s other stars, already have embarked on a massive world tour to help promote the Marvel blockbuster.

The tour kicked off Thursday in South Korea, with Downey celebrating his 48th birthday in spectacular Tony Stark fashion — tuxedo, throngs of admirers, you name it. On Saturday the actor will appear at an event in Beijing, and on April 10 he and Ben Kingsley, who plays the villainous Mandarin in the film, will meet the press (and fans) in Moscow.

Following stops slated in Munich, Paris and London, the travel itinerary concludes with the Los Angeles premiere of the movie at the El Capitan in Hollywood on April 24, and a New York date for Downey April 29.

Directed by Shane Black (“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”), “Iron Man 3″ marks the first post-”Avengers” Marvel movie to see release in theaters, and the film opens with Stark struggling a bit to reintegrate into his posh Malibu lifestyle.

“He’s retreated somewhat into his workshop … where he tinkers,” Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told Hero Complex. “He builds a version of the suit and the armor that can assemble on him at a moment’s notice.”

Look for more “Iron Man 3″ details from Feige in the coming days, and click through the images in the gallery above to see the star celebrating in Asia.

– Gina McIntyre

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

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