After the jump, I'll take a little deeper look into the supposed Avengers: Age of Ultron set photo of Iron Man and what it might mean.
I've included a screencap of the possible Iron Man armor below.
Now, to my knowledge, this armor has not appeared in any of the previous films in which Iron Man has appeared. While it resembles the Mark 42 armor from Iron Man 3, pictured below, it does have an inverted color scheme (see the side-by-side below):
Now, here's where the speculation begins. I'm going to be very clear: I have no idea if that set photo is a real set photo. It's not something I have ever seen before and in spending some time searching with my Google machine, it's not something I've found as having appeared online prior to Monday. That does not mean it hasn't been around before; it means that while I was searching, I didn't find it.
Next, just because it didn't show up until Monday, doesn't mean it's an actual set photo. It could be any number of things. That having been said, the background of it does look similar to the rest of the snowy/destruction-filled set that was being used Monday. And yes, the guy is wearing sweat pants, but so what? Did we so soon forget that the stand-in for Ultron was only covered in about 1/3 of a costume?
Finally, while we've only seen Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson on set, it has been rumored that Scarlet Johansson and Robert Downey, Jr. are expected on set in Italy sometime this week. So, it's entirely possible that the armored stand-in is filling a role for Downey's Iron Man and they'll dub in the dialogue later.
Taken all together, what does this mean? Absolutely nothing for sure. What could it mean? Something pretty interesting. The armor seen in the possible set photo resembles what would be the Model 38 armor from the comics, more commonly known as the Bleeding Edge armor. For those entirely unfamiliar with the Bleeding Edge armor, check out the photo below followed by a brief description of it.
Stark's Bleeding Edge armor was the inevitable follow up to the events of the Extremis-arc. Using some advanced technology, Stark merged his body with the armor. He stored the armor in his bone marrow and, when he needed it, he would just have to will it to "bleed" out of him and cover his body. Basically, once Stark had equipped his body with the Bleeding Edge armor, he truly WAS Iron Man.
Again, to be clear, I'm NOT saying that the set photo is legitimate. I'll need more proof of this armor on set before I'd say that. I'm NOT saying with 100% certainty that the Bleeding Edge armor is going to be in the film; however, if it does show up, I won't be surprised. Remember, Stark underwent a procedure at the end of Iron Man 3. We know his arc reactor was removed; we don't know if anything was added. And he did close Iron Man 3 with a very definitive statement: "I AM Iron Man." Could we see the Bleeding Edge armor in Avengers: Age of Ultron? At this point there's no reason to say no. If more evidence presents itself, I'll be here to let you know about it, but for now, it certainly isn't going to hurt to think about it.