Director to bring one of the Avengers' oldest villains to the big screen with a new origin story
Just days after revealing “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” as the name of “The Avengers” sequel during Marvel’s Comic-Con panel on July 20, Joss Whedon has given fans a little more to get excited about leading up to the film’s May 1, 2015 release: additional details of what will appear in the superhero actioner. The first made over $1.5 billion for Disney.
■ There’s a logo that Whedon revealed during the final minutes of Marvel’s Comic-Con panel on Saturday:
■ Whedon, is returning to write and direct the follow up, is telling his version of Ultron’s origin story: “A lot of people, because we called it ‘Age of Ultron’ and there was a book called ‘Age of Ultron’ recently, assumed that was the storyline we were doing which is not the case. We’re doing our own version of the origin story of Ultron. The other thing is Ultron was (the Avengers’) chief villain when I read the book. He has been THE Avengers villain for so long, I was amazed anybody was surprised it was going to be him in a movie. But we’re sort of crafting our own version of it, where his origin comes more from the Avengers than we already know about it.”
In the comic books, Ultron is a robot created by scientist Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym (who later becomes Ant-Man) that develops its own intelligence and rebels, dedicated to conquest and the extermination of humanity. As part of his plans, he creates Vision as a weapon to destroy the Avengers.
■ Don’t expect Pym to appear in the film: “In the origin story (of the comic books), there was Henry Pym, so a lot of people assumed he was going to be in the mix, but he’s not because we’re basically taking the things from the comics for the movies that we need and can use,” Whedon said. “A lot of stuff has to fall by the way side.”
■ The Ultron-centric sequel was planned before the first “Avengers” film. “Since before I even took the job of making the first one, I thought ‘Well I don’t know if I want to make this movie, but the second one should have Ultron in it,” Whedon said.
■ Ultron will be represented by different iterations, as he is in the comic books. “Ultron is definitely somebody who evolves so we’re going to get a couple of iterations, it’s going to be cool,” Whedon said.
■ Expect a change in tone: “It’s a little bit darker than the other film, because Ultron is in the house there’s a science fiction element that I think is a little bit stronger than the other film,” Whedon said. “Getting the team together was so rousing, but seriously, keeping the team together is a completely different problem.”
■ The sequel will be more global: “A lot of the movie has to do with (The Avengers’) place not only in America but in the world.”
■ Whedon is looking forward to writing Hawkeye for the sequel, played by Jeremy Renner. “He did get possessed pretty early by a bad guy and sort of had to walk around scowley for most of the movie last time,” Whedon said. “So now it’s nice to actually have the character there and really see him interact with the other guys.”
■ “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” will film in March, in London.
Whedon revealed the details during a discussion with “Marvel Live!” at Comic-Con (see below). Separately, Whedon has said:
■ Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch will also appear in the Avengers sequel. Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Godzilla,” the “Kick-Ass” films) is in negotiations to play Quicksilver, Magneto’s son in the comics and essentially Marvel’s version of DC Comics’ The Flash.
■ Whedon has told the AP that Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson isn’t likely to appear in the “Avengers” sequel. ““He could. Right now it’s not something I’m pursuing because I have so much going on in ‘Avengers 2.’ Finding out that Coulson is alive would be an entire B story. And I already have too much movie. That’s better than the other thing.”
■ Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow “is a huge part of the sequel because you do want to concentrate on the people who don’t have their own franchises,” Whedon said at a during a Nerd HQ Q&A. “She was the most fun for me because she’s not a hero, you know, and it’s something that I read — and I feel bad that I can’t remember who wrote the book — but it’s in one of the books explaining, ‘These guys are heroes, you are a spy. It’s a different thing — it’s a different skill set — and you don’t have their moral high ground or any of that good stuff.’ And that just makes her so interesting to me. So yeah, the stuff I’ve got going on with her in the second one is killer.”
■ Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, will not appear in the film.
■ But the rest of the cast of “The Avengers,” including Robert Downey Jr., are back.