James Spader Officially Cast as Ultron in ‘The Avengers 2′

Published 2 years ago by , Updated August 30th, 2013 at 12:53 pm,

James Spader The Blacklist Arrested James Spader Officially Cast as Ultron in The Avengers 2

At San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios came prepared with buzzworthy news and footage to share, but it was the end of their presentation that delivered the biggest surprise. The Avengers writer and director Joss Whedon took to the stage to unveil a teaser and the official logo for the highly anticipated sequel to his record-breaking superhero team-up and few in the audience were expecting it.

What was shown preceding The Avengers: Age of Ultron title card was footage of an Iron Man armored suit transforming into Ultron, the villainous robot and one of Earth’s Mightiest’s greatest foes. Little did we know that the voice and face of that character would be James Spader.

The man who played Dr. Daniel Jackson in the original Stargate film, won several awards for his role in Boston Legal and more recently had a starring role in the latter seasons of The Office, also having worked with Disney in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar nominated Lincoln, is going to play the primary antagonist of The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

The news comes directly from Marvel who are continuing to embrace a trend of utilizing their own brand to promote internal news and the official casting is the second for The Avengers sequel having happily confirmed that Robert Downey Jr. had signed for both currently-planned Avengers sequels a few months earlier.

James Spader The Blacklist Cell 570x343 James Spader Officially Cast as Ultron in The Avengers 2

Spader pulling a Loki

With Age of Ultron not beginning to shoot until next year, the timing of the casting announcement months before Thor: The Dark World hits theaters and while Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy is curious, if not timely. For the last week, headlines from both Disney-Marvel and rival studio Warner Bros./DC Entertainment have focused on high profile casting, with Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper and Elizabeth Olsen having been confirmed to be in talks with Marvel while Ben Affleck was officially announced to take on the iconic role of Batman in the Man of Steel sequel.

Since Affleck is official and the other Marvel-associated names are not, perhaps Marvel is attempting to turn the buzz back towards them with an official announcement of their own regarding their highest profile and most bankable upcoming project.

With a commanding voice and onscreen presence, coupled with his unique mannerisms, Spader is an unusual yet inspired choice. Yet, looking at his facial expression in the image from NBCs upcoming series The Blacklist above, Whedon made an appropriate and exciting selection. Our theories of Iron Man’s AI assistance Jarvis going rogue and the voice of the character (Paul Bettany) getting a chance to play Ultron is at least partly not going to be the case.

We know Spader… Ultron is going to be a source of great pain and conflict for The Avengers and it’s becoming increasingly likely that one (or more?) of the heroes may not make it out alive. Who will die? Did Tony Stark create James Spader as his deadliest creation? Should the film be renamed The Avengers: Age of James Spader to better fit Whedon’s entirely new origin story for the character?

[poll id=”669″]

Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on November 6, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news!

Source: Marvel

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  1. Mostly unrelated, but when I heard about Spader I thought he’d be able to play an interesting Lex Luthor. Not necessarily the best version of Lex, and I’d still want to see Cranston take on the role… but he could do a serious Lex and still have a very dry sort of wit and humour (as opposed to the really hammy and campy kind of humour of some of the other onscreen versions).

  2. Great news. For some reason his face in the picture at the top of the page reminds me of Vision lol.

    • He does look like The Vision with that angle/facial expression. Man that’s all I’m going to see now every time I look at this!

      • Haha sorry!!

  3. Good actor, goood choice, should work out just fine.

  4. “The man who played Dr. Daniel Jackson in the original Stargate film and more recently had a starring role in the latter seasons of The Office, also having worked with Disney in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar nominated Lincoln”

    he more known for boston legal not stargate why not state this gets your facts strait author

    • @Rahaul.

      People make mistakes, it is human nature. However to point out a person mistakes in an arrogant manner is rude.

      So, which Straits should the author get his facts right on?

      Strait of Dover, Strait of Gibraltar? The Magellan Strait?


    • He did play Jackson in Stargate and was in The Office. There are no incorrect facts there.

      Thanks for quoting me though! #winning

    • I never watched Boston Legal, so I know him from Stargate. Also, before you start criticizing the author on the order of what shows and movies Spader has appeared in, maybe you should learn how to spell the word STRAIGHT.

    • I know him more for Stargate. I saw him on Boston Legal and it just didn’t do it for me. I see him as being the face of Stargate. That’s just me though

    • Are you trying to stroke the internets? “More known for Boston Legal.” ? ? ?
      Stargate will always be remembered far above such a title known with evening television. What a joke.

      My question here about the Avengers sequel is… Why in the cosmos did they show us Thanos? Anyone? Hmmm???

      • They showed us Thanos in “The Avengers” as a little tease of what’s to come in the near future. We’ll see a little more Thanos in GOTG, but he won’t come out in full glory until “Avengers 3″.

      • Boston Legal and Stargate? Wasn’t anyone alive in the 20th century? Endless Love, Pretty in Pink, Tuff Turf, White Castle (not the one with Harold and Kumar), and especially Less Than Zero. James Spader and Robert Downey Jr. will bring back some 80’s style. But please cast Jami Gertz as well! She’s still super hot and would make a great Felcia Hardy (Black Cat)!!!

  5. Cooooool!

  6. His voice will be perfect if they want to have Ultron getting all creepy romantic with one of the ladies.

    My question would be, will Ultron always be a robot? Will he have a human form ever? And would that human form be James Spader? I know in the comics Ultron took on the form of Janet Van Dyne one time fairly recently.

    Honestly I kind of hope not. It seems like if a robot could take on a form to appeal to a woman, he could do better than Spader.

    • I don’t think Ultron ever appeared in human form (could be wrong)… but he did build a human-like android to battle the Avengers called the Vision.

      • Google “Ultron janet van dyne” and you’ll see some images from the comic I’m referring too. I only saw that one issue. Frank Cho was the artist.

        I ask also because I figure he could be super high tech, able to transform, maybe like T2 terminator or something.

        Believe me I know who Vision is. I’ve always thought he is really cool, but I’m leary of how they could bring him to screen. But he is really cool, and I could definately see Whedon using a witch/android love story.

  7. This is going to be gooooooooooooood.

  8. Ah, I was unaware… but I still can’t find a pic of what you’re referencing online. Is it the one where he looks like a female version?

    • @Nostelg-O

      • Ah, I found it. The Ultron Initiative. I’m gonna check that out!

  9. With Spader as Ultron this means we get Shatner as the Vision , right?

  10. “Where’s Paul Bettany?”

    No, just no……He should be Vision.

    And since Spader will be either just a voice or heavily CGIed even if they paste it over his live performance, I don’t see what the problem is.

  11. Ehh Spader…i’m sorry i just can’t stand his voice. the way he uses it i mean…he sounds as if he’s not taking to someone but at them..or maybe like he’s talking to himself outloud.. sorry i can’t explain it but well..but yup don’t like him

  12. @bobob in the office there was this one scene where he told a story based on all the man characters fears and his voice was pretty creepy. his character sounds like he doesn’t care about anyone and is always calm.

  13. A brilliant actor and one of Hollywood’s most underrated. With Robert Downey Jr. as Ironman I have to ask is there any way to work in Andrew McCarthy and Jamie Gertz? I want to see the Marvel version of “Less Than Zero”!!!

  14. Is Tony Stark going to lose all his money and be forced into male prostitution by Ultron? Will Andrew McCarthy have sex with Pepper Potts to get back at Tony for Jami Gertz?