Entertainment Weekly not only debuted new photos yesterday of our heroes from Avengers: Age of Ultron, but also had an opportunity to sit down with cast and crew to discuss the post-S.H.I.E.L.D. world they live in.
We have long known that Marvel Studios and Avengers director Joss Whedon would be presenting a new threat in the sequel to the billion dollar smash. Ultron is a common foe for the Avengers in the comics, so it was natural for him to become the villain on film. However, a serious alteration to this storyline was made to fit the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ultron was built by Ant-Man (Hank Pym) in the comics, but Tony Stark was a bit more of a natural progenitor in the movies. We were given a glimpse of this potential in Iron Man 3 when Tony orchestrates a daring Air Force 1 rescue by the Mark VII suit, but from a remote location.
As the article notes, Avengers: Age of Ultron will dwell on the heroes new realities after their individual sequels from the last year and a half (IM3, The Dark World, and The Winter Soldier). The Avengers are now tired and world weary after fighting the Battle of New York, saving the President (IM3), saving Asgard (Thor), and exposing and taking down HYDRA (Cap).
When asked about Tony Stark’s new reality, the subject of abdication was brought up in the conversation with Robert Downey, Jr., who noted that it wasn’t just about abdication, but also “recognizing limitations”. “The downside of self-sacrifice is that if you make it back, you’ve been out there on the spit and you’ve been turned a couple times and you feel a little burned and traumatized,” Downey says. “So to [Downey], [Iron Man] was like a returning veteran going back to the nuts and bolts of what was always righteous about who he was. He was never a guy who didn’t get his hands dirty. He was a tinkerer. He’s a mechanic.”
The sequel is reported to start with Stark’s latest plan to fix the world (“privatize peace“): Ultron is said to be an “all-seeing, all-knowing captain of the ‘Iron Legion’, a planetary force of robotic beat cops that resemble blue-and-white versions of the Iron Man suit but have no human core…” Stark also makes the mistake of giving Ultron “a dose of humanity” and imbues the android with parts of his personality, making Ultron, as Chris Hemsworth described him “…the bad son.” Whedon went further calling Ultron an absolutist who only sees the big picture and has a mission to “save” humanity.
EW goes on to describe a crucial scene when Ultron first attempts to take out the Avengers after a swanky, high-society party at the Avengers Tower. The scene is described in detail, but I will not spoil it here because it sounds righteous! Suffice it to say that Ultron’s ultimate plan is the extermination of the human race (to achieve peace) and he tries to start with the Avengers.
The Twins (Wanda and Pietro Maximoff) also discussed and Whedon acknowledges that they’re “Team Ultron, which makes things really hard for the Avengers because all of a sudden they’re dealing with powers that they’re not used to.” In Age of Ultron, the Twins are orphans who harbor a “secret grudge” against the Avengers. Quicksilver is quick-tempered and acts first while Scarlet Witch is always in an otherworldly state getting into other people’s minds.
Another addition to the cast (in a physical form) is Paul Bettany portraying The Vision. Ultron shows some of that Stark egoism by creating his own android to do his bidding called the Vision. When asked whether it was mere coincidence that the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S. would play The Vision, Whedon reluctantly admitted that it was not coincidence, but declined to elaborate.
So, we are now privy to several new details about Avengers: Age of Ultron, but will likely have to wait until next weekend’s Comic-Con to get many more. Avengers: Age of Ultron is due in theaters on May 1, 2015.