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Yesterday it was revealed that James Spader, the wonderfully weird character actor from "sex, lies, and videotape" and "Stargate," would be inhabiting the role of the villainous robot Ultron in "The Avengers: Age of Ultron," the highly anticipated sequel to last year's $1 billion-grossing "The Avengers."
What wasn't revealed, however, is how Ultron is being brought to life: Is Spader going to be wearing a suit? Or is the character going to be computer generated (and if so, will Spader be performing the motion-capture or will it be wholly animated)? Also, more importantly: who is Ultron?
Thankfully The Hollywood Reporter tracked down their geekiest reporter to put together a rundown of just what kind of mechanical menace Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, The Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and -- if rumors are to be believed -- Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch will be facing in the next blockbuster installment.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Ultron is -- in the words of that other maniacal robot, Bender from "Futurama" -- out to "kill all the humans." Really. That's it. He was created by Hank Pym, better known as occasional Avenger Ant-Man, but since the major motion picture "Ant-Man," directed by "The World's End" filmmaker Edgar Wright, hits theaters a few months after "The Avengers," that story line won't be explored. The brief teaser we saw at D23 suggests that Iron Man will be this guy's creator, and honestly, Ultron is just a couple of degrees away from all those flying droids Tony Stark made in "Iron Man 3."
In the comics, Pym designs Ultron using his own brain waves, which results in a mathematically obsessive creation devoid of the humanity that would make him, say, not want to kill all the humans. Ultron's serious daddy issues also have a lot to do with that overwhelming rage. "As a character I love [Ultron]," writer/director Joss Whedon tells Entertainment Weekly, "because he's so pissed off."
If this is the same route they're going for in "The Avengers: Age of Ultron," it would be really fun to see Spader riff on Robert Downey Jr. The two have a shared history, coming out of the Brat Pack scene, and are both able to convey a kind of sleazy malevolence with ease. Oh man, just think about the possibilities.
Other Ultron bits you should probably know: The supervillain is obsessed with creating a makeshift family for himself, which should play nicely to Whedon's strengths (it's a recurring theme in his work, exemplified in the wonderful "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" episode entitled, appropriately enough, "Family"), and he is made of adamantium, the same metallic compound that is grafted onto Wolverine's bones (it's also what Captain America's shield is made out of).
All of these things are fun to think about as the long journey to "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" begins. The Marvel tentpole is scheduled for release in the mega-competitive summer of 2015.
[via THR, Entertainment Weekly]