Marvel Studios Boss Talks ‘The Avengers 2′ Title & Roster

Published 1 year ago by , Updated February 16th, 2014 at 9:39 am,

The Avengers 2 Roster Fan Art Marvel Studios Boss Talks The Avengers 2 Title & Roster

With the next two films from Marvel Studios, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy deep intro post-production for release dates closer to summer, the next feature on schedule is The Avengers: Age of Ultron. The sequel to the third biggest box office hit of all-time begins principal photography in March, primarily shooting in London’s Pinewood Studios.

Not only does the next team-up return to a familiar shooting locale – where three of Marvel’s prior films shot – but The Avengers 2 sees the return of the entire cast of Earth’s Mightiest heroes along with their S.H.I.E.L.D. allies. They will of course, be joined by a few new heroes and villains, some that are still unconfirmed.

Speaking with SFX magazine, Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige reiterated how the title of the film and its villain selection (and casting) came to be. As we’ve heard from writer and director Joss Whedon previously, introducing Ultron as the team’s next reason for getting together was something he pitched and tossed around ideas for with Feige during the production of The Avengers.

“We didn’t want to merely have a ‘2’ after Avengers so we wanted to give it a subtitle. We have various things that we were looking at and Age of Ultron – which just happened to be a the name of a comic book series as well – was our favorite. I first met James Spader two or three years ago. I thought it would be great to have him in our universe and we finally found the right role with Joss’s version of Ultron.”

The clarification regarding the subtitle is actually an important one since the story of the film actually has nothing to do with the recent “Age of Ultron” miniseries in Marvel Comics. That’s a good thing, because despite the fitting title, the Age of Ultron books were critically slammed.

The more interesting discussion – and for some, a concern – about The Avengers: Age of Ultron is how it will introduce new characters, both heroes and villains, and still give them enough screen time to have worthy story arcs. Even with less characters in the first Avengers, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) didn’t get much to do – something the actor wasn’t shy about sharing his feelings on. The sequel, meanwhile, is bringing everyone back, adding siblings Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch to the team, and perhaps even including appearances of other supporting heroes such as War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) from the other Phase 2 films. Feige comments:

“It’s always a balance with any movie, not to overwhelm it with too many story elements. Certainly when it comes to comic book movies, you can fall into the trap of having too many villains and in the case of team-based movies, having too many heroes. But what Joss has in mind to bring those characters into the story happens in a very natural fashion over the course of the story. It’s also the tradition of the Avengers to switch up the roster every now and again and to have new characters coming in. It’s just part of the fun, but we wouldn’t have included them if it had just been a case of ‘Oh, we want two new figures, two new costumes.’ It very much flows with the story that Joss is creating.”

By “switching up” the roster are we going to see some of The Avengers taken off the team, perhaps even killed off like Whedon teased way back when? Is there room more than just cameo appearances for the supporting heroes of Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

We know Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are unlikely to be heroes from the start. Whedon explained that they don’t “necessarily agree” with the methods of The Avengers and of course, in Marvel Comics, they’ve been on the villainous side of conflicts more than once. There’s also the recent reports and rumors that Age of Ultron may feature another villain in a smaller role – and that character (details here) might be working with Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch at the start of the film.


More: The Avengers 2 Shooting in South Africa?


Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, with unannounced films coming May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

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

Source: SFX (via CBM)

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  1. I thought Age of Ultron was okay. Good but not great but its good they’re not drawing from it. But I hope they give Spadertron the gold look from the comics.

  2. So that explains the spader thing, which im hesitant of…..

  3. I am not sure if they kill off any of the original 6 Avengers, but I do think that War Machine is in there to act as a loss for the existing roster members. (Tony Stark’s reason to re-join the team).

    The only thing i’m iffy about is Hawkeye and Black Widow, as the roster may get too large for Avengers 3. They may decide to kill those characters off in order to create more screentime for other characters.

    Seriously, barring a death the likely line up for Avengers 3 is likely:

    Iron Man
    Captain America
    Black Widow
    Scarlet Witch
    Doctor Strange

    With maybe:

    Drax (If he does not get killed)
    Star Lord

    I would love to see a film with 17 Avengers against Thanos and an ally, but it may not be realistic

    • Because everything in everything Marvel movie thus far has been realistic, lol.

      • I think he meant realistic in a sense of creating a quality movie with as many characters as he had listed above. By including that many characters, it could become nearly impossible to give them all appropriate screen time without making it seem overly crowded and difficult to follow what is happening.

        • a la X-Men..

        • Wouldn’t that be the wrong use of the word realistic?

      • Robert has signed for Avengers 3, so I do not think that tony will be killed.

        • If you re-read what I wrote, I pointed out the main draw to killing off Stark is that it will explain his absence between films and brings a demise/resurrection boost at the box office to 2 and 3 respectively.

      • I agree that he is the most likely candidate for an early demise, though I’m not sure they’d ever need to resurrect him, as War Machine could take his place. I’m not saying War Machine would hold up as a solo film, only as a substitute for Iron Man in the collective Avengers films.

      • Maybe they will make a deal with RDJ and have him sign on for 2 more films and promise to cast both Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster somewhere in the Marvel Universe!!!

      • They could take a different route and have him guest appear as Director of SHIELD but not a member of The Avengers.

        That or they re-cast for IM4 after The Avengers 3.

        • I think they may go that route after Avengers 3, but I still think they’ll kill him off in this one. Thing is though Sam Jackson is nerdy enough to beg for a role in the Star Wars prequels (even offered to be behind a mask) and has stated he loves comic books and anime, he’s not going to be hard to keep around.

          Personally I’m hoping for a soft reboot after Avengers 3 if the Infinity Gauntlet storyline is followed. It would be a good chance to selectively recast, perhaps amend some past mistakes (The Mandarin for example), while keeping the cast members that have proven both popular and cooperative.

    • I don’t see Doctor Strange joining the cast until phase 3 and I doubt the Guardians will be in the film and if they are, it will only be a brief minute or so cameo, also, why would Drax die? He is the best bet in beating Thanos, unless the add Warlock to the mix, which they certainly should. Also, as I’ve said numerous times, they should use Beta Ray Bill in place of the Silver Surfer.

    • They could kill off Iron Man (RDJ does not want to do the role forever). So they could kill him off, maybe Cap holds the infinity gauntlet and “wishes” Iron Man back (and doing so, makes him everything Cap believes he could be). When he does, he is less of a dick, and more of a humanitarian.

      That way, they could cast someone a bit younger for the role.

      Just a thought.

      • Tony Starks regenerates like Doctor Who.

      • Cap fought for American freedom in WW2, then he goes and wishes to brainwash a close friend, believing that he could do better? Doesn’t fit his character.

        • While I agree with your sentiment, and believe that it’s a stupid idea, a change such as that would be a decent way to recast the character. I think what he was getting at wasn’t that Cap was intentionally brainwashing Tony, but that the Tony that was resurrected was Cap’s image of Tony, not the original Tony. Cap didn’t know that he was doing this, it just sorta happened. I think a better way to recast him would go like this:
          After Avengers 3 (after which the franchise will need a kind of in-universe reboot, keeping continuity but with multiple changes to the status quo, similar to what the comics do after major events), Tony Stark leaves to go on a soul searching journey around the world (maybe he marries Pepper, and then she dies?) and Rhodey takes up the mantle as Iron Man. This allows Marvel to continue making Iron Man movies without rushing to recast Tony. A phase or two later, once they’re sure they’ve found the right guy, a much humbler Tony returns to New York “a completely changed man” (hehe).

          • Who also had surgery to look like a new person during those years of soul searching, and is years younger, but still has the name Tony Stark for some reason.

            I never said brainwashing. Heck, maybe when he “wished” back, Tony Stark is the EXACT same character, but a younger version. Besides, recasting RDJ would not be rushed, it would be Avengers 3, with Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet, which, to my knowledge, is phase three. That is a while away.

            • I know that he’d look completely different, but if Marvel wants this series to keep going, they’re going to have to recast a lot of these characters with younger actors eventually anyway, unless they want to kill off all the best heroes. I just thought it was a convenient way to get RDJ out, and allow time for a recast. The trick is just to not call attention to the fact that they look different. The “completely changed man” thing was supposed to be kinda an opposite end version of “I’m here, it’s me, deal with it.”

              • Or, maybe they could just cast a new actor, call him “Tony Stark”, and write a good movie about (or including) Iron Man, and everyone could just accept that the world won’t end. Just like James Bond fans have been doing for fifty years. (At least if you decide to treat the Daniel Craig films as prequels, rather than a reboot, like I have.)

                • I don’t have a fundamental problem with replacing an actor, but with an ensemble show like “The Avengers” it seems like a good idea to take advantage of the large cast to “retire” the character for a movie or two, THEN bring him/her back with a new actor. It would give a better opportunity to showcase new characters and also ease the transition to the new actor.

                  • That’s a great point, and I agree. To go back to the Bond comparison, I think having the same M, the same Q, and the same Moneypenny over the years has helped to make the transitions easier for the viewers. Kind of like “Well, if Moneypenny’s buying it, then I can go with it”. But they just replaced the actor and moved on; there was no plastic surgery, no clones gone wrong, no force-fed reason as to why Bond suddenly looked different. Because the quality of the films has remained fairly consistent, we’ve accepted that the actor needs to change so we can keep having the movies. I’d love it if they quietly left Iron Man or Thor out of an Avengers movie, and then just brought him back in the next with a new face. I think if they come up with some convoluted story that highlights the different actor, it would only serve to distract from the story. Quietly replace them and move on.

        • Does it say brainwash anywhere in my comment? No.

          Stark dies, Cap (Thor, Fury, Black Widow, IDK, I just picked the one who I could see most likely doing this) wishes him back, Stark is now younger (Read: recasted) with less character flaws.

          Good way of recasting someone who does not want to do this forever.

          Or, you could do what Fanamir said. Make him a different person because of plastic surgery, plastic surgery that also makes him younger (maybe the surgery was in Tahiti?)

  4. I hope they add War Machine and Falcon, even in a limited capacity just so we get a nice ‘nother round about shot with a fuller team. And they could always separate the team in the climax; brawlers fighting Ultron’s army and a tactical team trying to take out Spader. I just hope Joss writes the hell out of this thing. Cap’s dialogue in Avengers was terrible!

    • As a comic book reader for just over twenty years, I never enjoyed either War Machine or Falcon, especially Falcon. I’m not a big Iron Man fan to begin with, which explains my disdain for War Machine, and Falcon was too much of a D-list character with a boring back story who never really added anything to the Avengers and only served as a background player in Captain America. I’m much more excited for Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, and hope they eventually introduce the Inhuman Crystal as Quicksilvers love interest and Vision for the Witch, maybe even Wonder Man; who is lame, and his brother the Grim Reaper. Crystal would help lead into an Inhumans film. With Marvel comics having this huge Inhumans story arc going on right now, it seems plausible that the Inhumans will play a large role in the future Marvel films, especially as a stand in for Mutants, since they can’t use Mutants.

  5. They should really include Hank Pym in this too. Rudd, Ruffalo and RDJr doing their science thang and add Falcon to Hawkeye and Black Widow’s spy thang.

    • I would love to see two teams. One covert, Secret Avengers style, with the peeps you mention led by Cap. The other, led by Iron Man, with the SUPER heroes.

  6. The initial set up for AoU was amazing (first 2 comics). I lost my mind. But from the moment they introduced the solution to this they lost me…

  7. Who do you guys think Ant-Man will replace in Avengers 3?

      • RDJ is signed on for AoU and Avengers 3. They would never get rid of him, he’s the biggest draw, i for one would not pay to see an Avengers movie if he wasn’t in it.

        • After that last paycheck, RDJ could buy Disney.

          • Mickey Mouse “You underestimate my pooooweeeer!” *breathes fire* “…haha.”

            Seriously though, I think there’s a good chance Hulk will leave his permanent roster. If it’s true they want to take that character into his own direction, he’s clearly way too unstable of a character to have both an arc fitting of the character and stay on the Avengers as a permanent spot. If Ant-man can size up as well as down, and has the scientific mind as well, I think he’ll replace the Hulk.

            I’m not sure what will happen to widow, but I’m pretty sure they’re not killing off Hawkeye or Captain America. Those two characters had the least time to come into their own in the Avengers so their potential I’d say is least tapped.
            Since we practically know it’ll to some extent be Tony who creates Ultron this time, there’s a good chance he’ll leave at least for a while. And to boot, I also think there’s a good chance Thor will either disappear or leave.
            I think they’ll keep Scarlet Witch’s enormous power saved up till Avengers 3, against Thanos so I expect both twins to become permanent members (and ergo not die).

            I think there’s a good chance Captain America, War Machine, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Ant-man/giant-man, quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will be the team after Avengers 2. In other words, I think IM, Hulk and Thor will all leave or be presumed dead (because I expect no one to ever die for real anymore now…).

            • If they get rid of Hulk it would be the biggest mistake ever He was the best part of the Avengers. Especially to be replaced by Antman. Hulk and Thor are the most powerful. They wouldn’t sabotage their franchise like that and keep Quiksilver and Hawkeye. I wouldn’t even want to watch the Avengers anymore.

              Plus they still have to make a Thor 3 so that’s not happening.

            • I just don’t see them killing off Thor, perhaps having him busy off world on an Asgardian quest, but I doubt that also. He is the Deus Ex Machina of the team, well, I suppose Scarlet Witch could usurp that spot, but still I think Thor’s spot is secure. Hulk is a more realistic bet but only if they can find a way to give him his own, successful film. Maybe it’s time for Planet Hulk!

          • 70 million dollars is nothing to Disney. Their theme parks across the world probably make that in a week. I’m not exaggerating. Maybe the Rockefellers could buy Disney but that’s about it. Downey however is using his money to open a production company with his wife- probably why he’s backing out of Iron Man all of a sudden after coming off as the Hugh Jackman of Marvel. IMO his resistance to coming back is in very poor taste, Iron Man is the role that not only made him an A list star, but gave him his career back.

        • So then your an Iron Man fan, not an Avengers fan? Him being the biggest draw is exactly why he’d be the perfect character to kill, it’s always a highly watched moment when beloved characters are killed, and, as many have stated, RDJ’s contract is up and with what he’s asking I highly doubt Disney will renegotiate and they’d be wise not to recast a character as popular as Iron Man, best to let him die…

          • This was meant for Moose, for some reason my responses aren’t appearing where they should… Sorry if it causes confusion…

        • Exactly, if they killed him they’d bring in everyone like you that wants to see him one more time. Then get you again when they bring him back in 3. It’s not a difficult concept.

  8. Get ready for another Disney/Marve! Oh, my bad, I mean Disney dose of fake villains, cheese comedy, PG-10 movies. I will not take another Disney superhero movie seriously after IM3. Therefore, im switching to WB/DC superhero Movies, but I have to wait like two years to see one, and god knows when the next WB/DC movie will be out. I hope to see the whole series before the Century ends. So I think am closing my door on superhero movies for good, maybe because Christopher Nolan closed the door on making another one.

    • There’s always the Amazing Spider-Man 2 and/or X-Men Days of Future Past. Or if you prefer Dark Horse comics you’ve got; Sin City : A Dame To Kill For, 300 : Rise of an Empire, and I, Frankenstein. Or, if you like animated films, Marvel is bringing us Big Hero 6, Marvel Disk Wars : Avengers, Iron Man and Captain America : Heroes United and DC is releasing; Justice League : War, Son of Batman, Aquaman, and Batman : Assault on Arkham. There’s also the upcoming Sandman film, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, and the Spawn remake (Possibly and hopefully).

  9. no Falcon and War Machine. bring in The Panther already….

    • Panther is getting his own movie so I am ok with having War Machine and Falcon be in AoU. Seeing as they may have a harder time pulling off a solo film. And who knows Falcon might even steal the show.

      But ya I can’t wait for a Black Panther movie myself.

  10. @Ace…don’t let the door hit you on the way out then……

    • Perfect response!

  11. No more Iron Patriot please.

    More War Machine!!

  12. The thing I wanna know is will Spadertron have a blacklist?

  13. A blacklist with all the avengers on it no doubt. Wonder if stark will add the no kill code like pym did for Janet in the comics. Can’t wait to see Paltrow save the day with her fists of fury… not.

  14. Cap’s gonna die.

  15. I swear if Ultron is a human man…everyone will flip their shiz and scream and a huge fan-boy tidal wave will smash Whedon down a well and he will end his career. Maybe he’ll be a hacker like Skye and they will team up and hack the Avengers over riding system aka Jarvis(Im assuming they have those derp cards to where Jarvis can talk to them)and create Ultron out of a vibranium Iron-Man. Maybe to where Ultron can shape the armor to his will….I guess. Something lame like that will happen. Im 60% sure they will take the lamest route on this.

  16. They dont need to kill anyone off they could easily explain them away. Such as they are off dealing with issues/mission elsewhere offscreen. So they could easily bring someone back in a future film or write them off. Not that i have an issue with someone dieing.

    • Exactly! The only permanence in the Avengers is their ever-changing roster.

  17. DC fans are like religious extremists.

    Hyper, militant, illinformed, clueless, and insist that they and their way are not only the best and only way, but that every other way should just be gone or wiped out.

    All anybody can do is just laugh at them.

    • Dude, are we still talking about a movie?… U seem a lil extreme.

    • Listen to yourself brother.
      You are exactly what you’re describing.

      But you are right, all I can do is laugh.

  18. The Age of Ultron Books were terrible to me. They started out great then just went to in a stupid direction. then just ended terrible to jump to Ai another boring terrible story. I hope the movie stays away from those books.

    I hope they don’t start killing off Avengers and bringing them back Coulson style that would truly suck. As I remember the Avengers had alot more than 6 members. They could branch out to the Secret Avengers after Avengers 3 or the Thunderbolts.

    I cant wait for the Black Panther and Dr. Strange to join the team for Avengers 3.

  19. I still think an Avengers: Civil War would make for a good movie (since they wont ever do a zombies one, though itd be fun).

    • It definitely would, but only after many more characters have been introduced and the audience becomes accustomed to their personalities. I’d say we need a good half dozen Avengers films and over a dozen solo or group films before jumping into Civil War. We would certainly need to be better acquainted with Luke Cage and the Heroes For Hire, but the biggest problem I see is that Spider-Man was a huge part of Civil War with his unmasking, as were the Fantastic Four and the X-men. As far as large crossovers are concerned, I think Annihilation is the best bet. You don’t need any Mutants for it, nor do you need Spidey or the FF. The only characters integral who are missing are, the Silver Surfer, who could be replaced by Beta Ray Bill, as was done with the Planet Hulk animated film, Nova, who they can easily introduce in a future Guardians film, the Super Skrull, who again can be added into a Guardians film, and Galactus, who can be switched out for Odin and rather than siphon the Power Cosmic for their weapon they can siphon the Odin Force…

  20. I think war machine will be the pseudo iron man in this movie. I dont know if they kill off stark but i dont think he will suit up. I think he might end up a prisoner or maybe join the gaurdians? God killer armor super star power to that film series and he can be the connection to bring them together to fight thanos…… Just sayin

  21. I really want to see war machine and falcon included in the line up. I dont really wanna see war machine killed though because that would almost be similar to coulsin in the avengers.

  22. Anybody who thinks iron man is going to be killed off should rethink their predictions because hes signed on to play avengers 3.

    • Yeah, I don’t see him being killed until the third Avengers film, otherwise, why pay RDJ?

  23. I think they are going to “whisk” Hulk away early on in AoU. So they can focus on him havig a solo movie in phase 3. The team may have to take him down for going rampant towards the beginning of the movie. Stark, being close with him, may also leave with him or leave the team because of him being forced to leave. Possibly may even be forced to, begrudgingly because of his closeness to Banner, help create Ultron to deal with Hulk. This could lead to the team disbanding at the end of the movie.

    This would
    A) take 1 of the 2 most powerful heros out of the picture (Hulk) for the duration of AoU and leave just Thor as the super super powered hero. I do love Hulk but I don’t want him to be around all the time to save the day cause he is so powerful. Would be nice to see the “lesser powered” beings deal with the villains of AoU.

    B) would also open “roster space” for newcomers like Ant-Man, Wasp, Dr. Strange, etc. for Phase 3 cause some heroes may disband for a lot of phase 3 but return in phase 4.

    Just my thoughts…

    • @clay Yeah,I can see them heading towards a line up like Avengers #16. Which Giant/Wasp/BP and Hercules later join. Now that would be cool.

  24. There are few things that I hate more than a character being killed AND THEN brought back to life. Coulson, Gandalf, Spock.

    I am all for allowing a major character to die…providing that they stay dead. Otherwise, where are the stakes?

  25. Why would Disney/Marvel dare to kill one of their characters? That is silly. No one will die. They will keep on doing what they have done so far, take some characters on other missions and introduce new ones.

    The only thing I agree thus far is that the people in charge of the projects have to make some of the films R and not PG13.

    • It’s a super hero movie with super action, and it makes sense that with the level of power being used that someone would die. Death is part of life and would definitely add to the dramatic aspect of the story. They killed Coulsin in the first film, though he didn’t stay dead, and it stands to reason they will kill someone else, someone the audience is more invested in.

  26. With the whole issue of the avengers roster getter too big.. Really depends if the “team” will still want to be together aftr A2. It’s been said repeatedly by Wedon that he intends for Ultron to destroy/tear them apart. Otherwise if the story escalates to the infinity gautlet then we could simply have half the team for one movie doing something and another half in another movie doing something else which culminates into one film that just mostly action .. So 3 movies filmed all together. Why make 1 billion dollar movie when you can make 3. Release the suckers like spring/late summer/early dec. the year of the avengers type deal. Anyway to see more avengers is good with me

    • It would be smart, especially financially, to break the team apart and reform them as two or even three separate teams. Not West Coast Avengers, cause they were lame, but perhaps the Mighty Avengers and the New Avengers, or Secret Avengers. Two teams working together under, say, Captain America’s leadership, or S.H.I.E.L.D’s. I’d like to see Cap lead one team and Luke Cage lead another, a la the Avengers/New Avengers in the comics, minus, of course, Spider-Man and Wolverine on the roster. I suppose, I’d even support an Iron Man lead team as well. There is great possibility here and it could be fun to see which team fans enjoy more. It could also help segue to Civil War.

  27. The whole “Joss’s version of Ultron” still makes me nervous. I love the fact that he cast James Spader, but I still don’t understand the need to change his story. The MCU is obviously introducing Hank Pym, one of whom’s most famous (or infamous) acts is creating Ultron. Why they would change such an established story, while simultaneously taking away such a potentially great story arc for their not-yet-introduced version of Ant-Man, is completely beyond me. I’m not judging the decision yet, as we haven’t seen the final product. I’m merely voicing my extreme confusion. Why fix what ain’t broke, you know? I pray I’m wrong and it turns out great, but right now, I’m still nervous.

  28. J83, I’m with you on Coulson and Spock, but as for Gandalf, you’ll have to take that up with J.R.R. Tolkien himself. Probably the only one to ever kill off a character and bring them back purely for sake of the story, rather than to make more money.