We have less than a month to go until The Avengers: Age of Ultron debuts in the U.S. (it arrives overseas even sooner) – so, at this stage, Marvel Studios has unveiled pretty much all of the Age of Ultron footage ahead of time that it’s going to. Case in point: the newly-released (last?) TV trailer (embedded above) starts out identical to the previously-released extended TV spot for Joss Whedon’s sequel; running down through members old and new of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes one by one, giving each of them their moment in the spotlight.
Where things change, however, is towards the end, as we get a glimpse at an action sequence where Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Captain America (Chris Evans) work together to fight Ultron (James Spader) directly. Any such scenes featuring Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff working together in Whedon’s film will now carry a little extra weight than they would have in films past, thanks in no small amount to Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘s development of the characters’ relationship.
Ultron, in the Avengers 2 fight glimpsed here, is in his final form – the version where the A.I. robot has coated himself in Vibranium – which is why he’s able to take blows from Cap’s shield without necessarily being damaged. This specific plot element is also noteworthy because it will introduce Black Panther‘s home nation of Wakanda (where Vibranium is extracted). Hence, there will be a handy explanation for how Ultron “levels up” and becomes increasingly powerful – one that pulls double-duty by paving the way for the debut of T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman).
Ant-Man, arriving in July, will serve as the official conclusion to Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, it’s Age of Ultron that will have the strongest immediate impact on developments in the MCU’s next phase of films and TV shows. The events of Whedon’s sequel will not just significantly affect the Avengers roster for all the team’s future adventures, but also leave the MCU version of Earth in a state where the events of next year’s Captain America: Civil War can unfold more organically.
In other words, the stakes are quite high for Avengers: Age of Ultron – both in regard to what will happens onscreen and its real-world relevance to Marvel’s Shard Universe. That means there’s greater potential for Whedon’s sequel to under-whelm in the face of such high expectations – as has been discussed by the Screen Rant Underground podcast team in the past. It also means that if Earth’s Mightiest Heroes impress more than ever before this time round, the rewards/returns will be all the greater. We’ll be getting our answer to that (unasked) question soon enough.
Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill and Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be in theaters May 1, 2015; Ant-Man on July 17, 2015; Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man reboot – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Black Panther – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019.