Star Mark Ruffalo already spilled the beans on cast of The Avengers: Age of Ultron returning to the stage at Comic-Con next Saturday during the Marvel Studios’ panel, giving us our first look at the larger roster of heroes in the sequel all together. It’s a followup to Marvel’s Comic-Con 2010 presentation where they unveiled the core cast of the first Avengers.
Director Joss Whedon has footage to show fans for Age of Ultron, and in teasing the imminent unveiling of James Spader’s villainous Ultron, Entertainment Weekly just released their latest Comic-Con preview cover issue featuring the co-leaders of The Avengers standing alongside the dangerous killer robot.
Below is your first official look at Ulton – or at least, one version of him – from The Avengers: Age of Ultron:
Long-time Marvel Comics readers will be delighted to see the faithful adaptation of Ultron’s design, but keep in mind that we know actor James Spader (The Blacklist) is performing motion capture and face capture for his role. He’s not just the voice of Ultron so either that robotic face depicted above opens up to reveal something akin to Spader’s real look or Ultron, in his efforts to become stronger, continuously upgrades himself/evolves and we get a slightly more humanoid version later. After all, we know The Vision (Paul Bettany), another new robotic character joining The Avengers 2, will have his real face like the Vision from the comics as well.
Also note the superhero duds of Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). Iron Man’s new suit is very similar to his Iron Man 3 (more tan than red) colors with more red on the chest. Cap’s new suit is a blend of his Stealth Suit from Captain America: The Winter Soldier but brings back the red with some darker shades for all the colors.
It’s difficult to make out in the cover image but Cap’s new suit features The Avengers symbol (the “A”) on his arm – something we’ll be seeing from the new team as they use Stark’s tower as their official base of operations and get new costume and equipment upgrades. Cap’s Suit and an early makeshift version of Ultron appeared in unofficial set photos previously and we’ve seen the other Ultrons (in the background of this cover) in the first official Avengers: Age of Ultron concept art (one example below featuring Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver).
The most interesting information is the quotes and story details the EW cover story also provides about Ultron’s new origins. Hank Pym a.k.a. Ant-Man creates Ultron in the comics but we know Joss Whedon is changing that up for his film and what we suspected last year about Tony Stark being responsible is true. With S.H.I.E.L.D. no longer serving as Earth’s defense and first response against the unknown and other-worldly, it’s up to The Avengers. And to help them out and given them a break, Stark develops Ultron, a sentient program, an artificial intelligence that will help him to serve as an Avenger without actually suiting up himself – building off of what we saw in Iron Man 3 where we met an Iron Legion of automated suits in the final act.
This self-aware AI – perhaps an evolution of JARVIS from the Iron Man films and The Avengers 1 – can locate threats and control Stark’s legion of drone suits to deal with them… until Ultron decides that humans are the greatest threat. Joss Whedon, while smiling and rubbing his hands together:
“Ultron sees the big picture and he goes, ‘Okay, we need radical change, which will be violent and appalling, in order to make everything better’; he’s not just going ‘Muhaha, soon I’ll rule!’ He’s on a mission. He wants to save us.”
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Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6 2016, and unannounced films for July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
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