The Avengers 2: This is Why James Spader is Playing Ultron

Published 2 years ago by

For the many upcoming Marvel Studios projects in development, casting rumors and speculation is the absolute norm. With two major Marvel films releasing per year (and that’s just from the Disney camp) there are many characters that need be cast and with the success of the franchise to date, seemingly every actor in the business has had their name dropped at one point or another in association with one of the upcoming films.

Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper have been the subject of the most recent buzz, with Marvel officially announcing the casting of Cooper as the voice of Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy and Diesel earning a lot of attention for talking up not one, but two roles he may take in the future. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen meanwhile, are in talks with Marvel for The Avengers: Age of Ultron and for this reason, Marvel surprised everyone when officially announcing that James Spader had officially joined The Avengers sequel.

Of all the theories and rumors, Spader’s name never popped up once for any Marvel gig which made the casting all the more shocking (yet inspired), especially with him starring in the new NBC series Blacklist which airs this fall. Ultron is a robot, powered by the mind of a dangerously lethal and angry AI. When the title and character were revealed at Comic-Con over the summer, fans in attendance witnessed one of Iron Man’s armored suits transform into Ultron, leading to speculation that it was Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and his AI assistant JARVIS who may be – at least partially – responsible for the creation of the new villain. And with that, some believed that Paul Bettany – the voice of JARVIS – may end up playing Ultron.

Age of Ultron 10 Art Marvel Comics The Avengers 2: This is Why James Spader is Playing Ultron

That’s clearly no the case. As for how Spader was selected for the part? That was 100% on writer and director Joss Whedon who had the idea of using Ultron for the sequel while shooting the first Avengers film. He tells Marvel:

“Spader was my first and only choice. He’s got that hypnotic voice that can be eerily calm and compelling, but he’s also very human and humorous. Ultron is not Hal. Spader can play all of the levels. He’s the guy to break The Avengers into pieces.”

The Hal namedrop refers to the infamous calm and monotone artificial intelligence from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The more interesting highlight is the “break The Avengers into pieces” which harkens back to Whedon’s previous hints about the story of Age of Ultron being one of deeper, more personal and emotional struggles for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes where “awful” things happen to them.

From “twisting the knife” of the team, to adding two new characters in Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch who don’t agree with the methods of The Avengers and teasing the idea of “death” on more than one occasion, the sequel promises to put the heroes of the Battle of New York to the test. If Loki “killing” Agent Coulson in The Avengers had an effect on you, wait until Spader does worse.


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 July 31, 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

      Me neither :) i think Whedons done a great job so far and wont disappoint anytime soon :D

    • You don’t like Whedon? Any particular reason?

  1. Good article, Spader might be good, glad to see Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Looking forward to buying this movie on DVD for sure.


    Pym does not create Ultron? No Goliath and Wasp in Avengers #2? Well, with apologies to HAL…..

    “What are you doing, Dave? Stop Dave. Let’s think about this Dave…..”

    • I think you could have changed that to:

      “What are you doing, Joss? Stop Joss. Let’s think about this Joss….”

      • Actually, I almost did!

    • I think there might be a chance that he does, but they’re avoiding bringing Ant-Man into the media. I think Ant-Man might have created Ultron, but the crew doesn’t know who he is at first and Ultron just shows up. Maybe Pym works for Stark Industries and based his work on Stark’s and screwed up. That may lead to the next stage of Marvel.

  2. I read the title and thought I’d scroll down and see a dump truck full of cash. Also, Wheadon is right about Spader’s voice

    • looooooool.

      Also the word bed looks like a bed 0_0

      So glad Joss is doing Avengers 2. Wish DC had equivalent talent for Bat/Sup.

      Anybody want some…batsoup? 0.0

      I’m not high you’re high.

      • BatSup is what I’m officially calling the MoS sequel from now on. Thanks, dude. :)

      • I just hope that movie opens up a can of Campbell’s Cream of Whoopass Soup at the box office!

  3. I hope by saying spader can be humerous doesnt mean he will utilize that with ultron. Whedons biggest writing flaw is undercutting emotion, and threatning character with cheap gags. People proclaim loki was so great but all he did was get rag dolled by every member of the
    avengers. Hiddleston was great loki was a joke.

    Whedon needs to bring some seriousness to this film to make a superhero film he is capable of

      • Agree completely ruffalos hulk did a pure campy tossing of loki that was instantly claimed the greatest scene that year. When really it was a bad joke in a moment when the world was in danger. I laughed but on 2nd viewing its true colors showed.

        Which makes me wonder are asgardians invincable? Cause clearly that banging by hulk would kill loki instantly if not break every bone in his body. So can thor die or not? He seems rather concerned about falling in that cage.

        • I have to disagree with just about everything said here.

          Mark Ruffalo was great because he brough a sense of humanity to the character. Norton was good, too, but The Avengers portrayed Banner in both a lighter, more comedic light and a darker one. It furthered his character and Ruffalo acted it well.

          Loki was one of the best comic book movie villains in recent history because he was charming, elegant, and twisted. He embraced the style of both comic books and Shakespeare and combined them into something unique. By the way, he wasn’t “slapped around by everyone.” Hulk was the only one who did anything substantial. Hawkeye hit him with an arrow and Iron Man blasted him a few times, that’s it. Cap, Widow, and Thor didn’t even really touch him.

          • Your kidding right? To be a great villian you should achieve something. He lost every fight he did. The only thing he achieved was making the portal. He looked stupid trying to mind control tony. He looked stupid getting slapped around. He was like somebodies poor henchman. Marvel films have always failed at having good villians who actually pose a threat. Atleast killian did a little. Loki is not a villian, he isnt threatening or effective.

          • Also ruffalo was barely on screen he was mainly a cgi monster. He was no edward norton

            • Part of the reason the Hulk worked better in this movie then the last two was because that’s actually Ruffalo under all that CGI doing the motion capture. Ignoring that’s a disservice to him.

            • Now you’re the one who has got to be kidding.

              Ruffalo was one of the most-seen actors in the film. Hulk was only in the last two fight scenes, whereas Ruffalo was throughout the first whole hour-hour and a half and sporadically throughout the last hour.

              Loki achieved more than just opening a portal. He achieved in breaking the Avengers apart via killing Agent Coulson. He achieved in mind-controlling or killing Hawkeye and a large amount of SHIELD agents. He tricked Thor and got Banner to become Hulk.

              Also, he didn’t look “stupid” getting BRIEFLY beaten by Hulk. Hulk has uncharted strength so I’m pretty sure it’s quite plausible that he could (again briefly) toss Loki around. Especially since Loki isn’t a fighter in the first place.

              • Your telling me loki couldnt have avoided the fight? Its absolutely rediculous to think loki would sit there and bad mouth a guy he knows could kill him easily. He was undercutting logic with a joke whedons speciality. Loki should have trick hulk and manipulated him since that is what the character loki is all about. The reason he did what he did was for entertainment value and laughs when it was a prime time to prove loki is capable of handling any situation with trickery

                • If you think that it was stupid characterization, then you don’t understand Loki at all, nor the deeper meaning to what Whedon did.

                  Loki is an egotistical and arrogant villain (at least in the MCU), so it isn’t hard to believe that he would believe he could talk smack to Hulk. He thinks everyone is below him, so of course he’s going to speak a monolouge of self-gratification.

                  To me, the reason why Whedon had Loki get smashed was because he was making a humorous statement about a bad movie troupe: the overly-dramatic cornball villain monolouge. We’ve all seen villains go on and on and on about themselves that it’s gotten to the point where it’s like “Just shut up already.” So Whedon did just that. Instead of forcing the audience to hear yet another ego-stroking monolouge for Loki, he let Hulk be a stand-in for the crowd. So, Hulk did what he does best: smash, and that way Loki was shut up.

                  You clearly don’t get the brilliance of that scene.

          • Except he never scared me… or anybody for that matter.
            Shouldnt a villain come off as at least a LITTLE intimidating?

            I like Loki, I think he should get over it and join the Avengers.
            Because he is a little girl of a villain.

      • I want to add i found the avengers to have atrotcious dialouge. Goyers man of steel had a couple cringeworthy lines with a lot of exposition. The avengers had similar exposition with 60% cringe worthy and campy line. Whedons writing has always bugged me cause its so campy. I wish faverau was given the job to direct the avengers.

        That is not to say i will pass on age of ultron. I love the characters to much to miss a film. Heres hoping for the real clint barton this time around (he is my favorite marvel character along with luke cage and iron fist)

        • Ok, listen pal.

          You can’t go throwing words around like ‘logic’ in regards to a fun film about Superhero’s and aliens, you just can’t.

          The film is what it is, it’s not supposed to be some dark, twisted thriller film with character deaths all over and a supreme villain from the get go. It’s not what Marvel is. And it’s not what Joss Whedon does either. Which is why the two are a perfect fit.

          Saying ‘Loki can get out of any situation with trickery’ or whatever, is overpowering him. His character is literally a pissy jealous brat who doesn’t like to be told no. Someone like that isn’t going to best a billionaire, battle armoured, genius. Or a green rage monster who can tare almost anything in half.

          You were wanting something that would never have happened, and I am not just saying that because the film is out. The title didn’t indicate what you wanted, and neither did the way it was marketed. Why were you so surprised The Avengers were supremely glorified in their first live action film? Everyone knows its the sequels for better villains and darker stories.

          I found the film more to be about ‘THE AVENGERS’ and how they came together and interacted, than the villain. As it should have been. Loki is a pawn to set The Avengers on their way, the whole MCU is built to get steam as it goes. Giving one bad ass villain who can hold his own against four superhero’s and two assassins, on day one of the Avengers originating, is no fun for anyone at all!

          With ‘The Avenges: Age of Ultron’, I will expect a film with a more deep plot, more complex villain and a darker story. Basically, what you were expecting with ‘The Avengers’. Your powerful villain will be there, as it’s THE AGE OF ULTRON.

          Take the que’s from the title and the marketing, and don’t overlook them. Perhaps if the film was called ‘Avengers: This is all about Loki and screw the origin of the Avengers’, then I reckon you’d have an argument.

        • Clearly you took The Avengers too seriously. It was meant to be a campy popcorn flick. Nothing more, nothing less.

          • I would hope for movies to strive for more than that. Im not saying it didnt achieve what it was trying to do. Im saying its a shell of what it could of been if it took itself seriously

      • Bane? Ha ha ha ha!

        • TDKR’s Bane was a f***ing travesty. Worst part of the whole trilogy. By far.

          • I disagree bane was menacing and did exactly what he was there to do provoke chaos and let the city rot

            • Nah, Bane was pretty disappointing.

              • So was the Mandarin.

          • Are you kidding? Bane made TDKR, the same way The Joker made TDK. Bane was brilliant, calculating, intimidatingly brutal and a intellectual & physical match for Batman/Bruce Wayne. I was disappointed how he died at the end of TDKR because he deserved a warriors death. Thats how good he was in that movie. To call him a travesty IS a travesty. Good day sir…..I said good day.

            • You talking about the same Bane that was under the control of a chick in TDKR or the Bane from the comics?

              • People dont think. He wasnt her henchman. He spent the whole film controlling an army, destroying gothem and breaking the bat. He did that not talia. They are partners, talia gave him orders to not kill batman and he didnt follow them.

        • I thought the same thing.
          I wondered “Can he really be talking about the Sean Connery robot?”

      • since you mentioned Robocop, ronny cox was one of my favorite villains in the 80′s/early 90′s. this guy epitomized sh*tbag. and relished it.

    • Clearly you don’t know Whedons work. His greatest strength in writing, besides creating kick ass female icons, is drama and team dynamics, either building up or breaking down. Watch the Buffy episode The Body, or the movie Serenity. Dollhouse had some pretty dark themes too. Than there was the Buffy episode where Spike tried to rape Buffy.

      When people talk about how Whedon could improve, I agree. When people talk about how there’s no hope, and how awful he is, I shake my head and walk away, cause they be crazy.

    • Watch the Jack Nicholsen movie Wolf. Spader plays a very eccentric and sinister villain.

      • Exactly where I was going, as well. Spader just oozed evil in “Wolf”, and his energy just stole every scene he was in. And he started the flick as the perfect best friend. Just will be great as Ultron.

    • lol, there are so many other roles and emotional ranges that he’s played besides what he did in Stargate.

  4. Sounds fair since James Spader talks like hes a robot

  5. So I guess ulyron is gonna be CGI. Hope it pans out well onscreen.

    • Well, they could go the Iron Man route with it. The made pieces for the actor to wear and then went it and touch it all up to make it gorgeous.

  6. does anyone have a link or video of the iron man suit transforming into ultron from comic con?

    • I don’t think it leaked. They were good about preventing leaks this year. Full clips of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Warcraft, X-Men: DOFP never leaked.

  7. *in my best Hulk Hogan voice
    “AV2! whatcha’ gonna do when Ultron runs wild on you!”

  8. Well they NEED the Scarlet Witch for this, she’s the only one that can disrupt Ultron’s adamantium armor via the molecular rearranger built into him. Thor and Hulk can’t dent his armor (and if they ruin THAT like they ruined the Mandarin in IM3 I will just have to stop watching these in the theater.

    • I don’t think they can use adamantium bc her really that’s associated with X-Men. They obviously don’t own the rights tote word or adamantium itself but I feel like it would cause a legal dispute if they did that.

      • generally* not her really .-.

        • They cant use atamantium then can use vibraniam however which is probably the route they go.

          Could caps shield of vibranium affect vibranium armor?

          • Vibranium is a primary component of adamantium. Adamantium exists in a lot of different Marvel properties.

            • No one owns the rights to adamantium, just certain Marvel characters.

  9. This doesn’t really have much to do with the avengers 2, due to the fact (or theory) that Hank Pym isn’t in it, but I just read that Ewan McGregor is being approached about Ant-man… has anyone heard or read anything about this? I never even thought about him…

    • I thought Ant-Man would be a joke of a movie until you mentioned Ewan. Now I’ve got something to ponder…

      • AEwan is one of the most underused actors in hollywood he is very good with the right material. Not to mention he could sing us a lovely tune in the middle of the film. He would
        be a great scientist tho he doesnt look at all like hank or scotr

        • But as far as ant-man goes they could make me the happiest man in the world and cast patrick wilson. Since DC hates me and wont cast him as the flash.

        • True, that he doesn’t look like Pym, but Mark Ruffalo doesn’t really look like Banner from the Ultimates line that the movie-verse is somewhat based off of and he was great. Edward Norton looked more like Banner from the Ultimates line. I personally always thought Sam Rockwell would have been an excellent replacement for Norton but they had to cast him as Justin Hammer in IM2… Oh well. I will drop the Norton subject since there still might be a fain spark of…” WWWWWHHHHYYYYY???” in some of the fans out there. But anyway, I think McGregor would be a solid addition to the roster.

          • Id watch a movie with sam rockwell sitting in a chair, he is one of my favorite actors

            • Haha yeah I hear ya. Rockwell will go down in history as a very under used actor

            • watch Moon.

              • Moon is wonderful

    • Jude Law should be Hank Pym

  10. Ultron kills! That’s what he does!

  11. i wish the wolverine could be in this would of been awesome

    • I wish you would HAVE learned to say “would HAVE” in grammar school.

  12. I wish TA2 Comic-Con footage leaked. I really want to see it. Great article.

  13. I think Spader is a great choice and it sounds like Whedon is gonna make Ultron that sort of “chess master” style of villain. I can’t wait.

  14. Shut up and TAKE my money already!!!

  15. Imagining this Ultron robot killing machine sounding like
    James Spader does not compute to my ears and his voice
    may be a lot of things but not intimidating or menacing to me.

  16. “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

    Which is almost as annoying as that babe in the video.

  17. Have you guys seen the leaked pics of ultron? He looks like Cain(robo version)from Robocop 2, Its Spaders face in a screen that flips around and closes.

    • No way. Please tell em youre joking.

      • Really? You buyin that BS? Cuz I know I ain’t.

  18. I cant wait to see Avengers age of Amazo. WHats next Moon Knight vs Hyperion? I get tired of marvel stealing from DC. Moon knight– Batman, Ant man– Atom, Captain Marvel– Wonder Woman, Quiksilver–Flash Its too many to name even though I will admit Plastic and Elongated man are ripoffs of Mr Fantastic, and Deathstroke and Deadpool.

    It just makes me sick when i think about it. This movie probably wont flop but Antman and Garbage of the Galaxy will definitely crash and burn.

    • shut up jack-arse! all you do is complain about marvel! WHY TF are U here? to cry a little more? Well on the next DC article u will be happy!!! Oh Wait, there wont be any of those for a while. OH WELL CRY US A RIVER BAAAABY

    • Than don’t watch the f**king movies. Seriously if it makes you sick than go admire your dc movie collection.

    • Also, one of your iconics, Aquaman, is a rip-off of Namor.
      Then when everyone made fun of “Superfriends” Aquaman, they made up a cool backstory with political upheaval and family issues in Atlantis… also from Namor (with a little Thor/Loki mixed in).

      Yeah, not sure if one character has been so consistently ripped-off as Namor to Aquaman. Not that it matters.

      See, comic companies steal from each other. It’s what they do. DC AND Marvel. In fact, it’s interesting to see how they do it, and what they do to make it their own. Just enjoy both and don’t take it so seriously.

      Also, Spawn is a visual rip-off of an old Spider-Man villain, The Prowler. Didn’t realize that until reading some old Spidey comics. Just wanted to throw that out there if anyone’s interested.

    • You do realize that our hero batman is pretty much a composite of Zorro and Sherlock Holmes even by Bob Kane and Bill Fingers own admission. There’s no such thing as an original idea.

      • Going all the way back to biblical figures and greek gods.

    • You come to an article talking about a Marvel movie and cry about Marvel copying DC characters. I’m trying to see how a single word of your complaint is of any relevance to this movie. You my friend need a life, a hobby and possibly a girl friend or simply just grow-up. Can’t stand confused kids like you.

    • You sir….(i don’t want to be mean but i must) are the dumbest person on earth! Moon-Knight, a handicap is not a rip-off of batman! Atom is not even the same as ant-man and ant-man was made before him! And the captain Marvel(guy and girl version) are nothing like Wonder Woman. dc rip offed most of Marvel characters but some of Marvel characters are copied versions, but no the ones u listed. Guardians of the Galaxy will be rocking the house, while Bataffleck is over in the corner sucking his thumb. AND, I think Bataffleck is a really surprising choice but it will be good (hopefully). Back to my point Ant-man will not be a IM(1) but wont crash and brun little friend. Marvel comes out on top in the Cinematic Universe and all DC has is remade Superman(movies and cartoons) and Batman(movies and cartoons) and the recently failed Green Lantern. While Mos was the best DC movie(in my opinion) by FAR!

    • @ superlad …BTW how about your little…Captain Marvel aka Shazam…he is by far the dumbest of DC and the name was stolen straight from Marvel, obviously!

      • *ahem*

        Captain Marvel’s first appearance was in 1940.

        Marvel Comics wasn’t named Marvel Comics until 1961.

  19. Can we do a Hulk Hogan thing with Thor? Make him wear the helmet and it gets knocked off fighting with the bad guy. It would add so much more to the character if he dons the helmet.

    • It would be nice to show Thor fight with his helmet but unfortunately the first film pretty much established it as more of a ceremonial accoutrement rather than an actual piece of battleware.

  20. I’ve said it before the avengers movie really wasn’t that good the jokes where lame the aliens where corny I think ppl are over hyped for the 2nd film its going to be another kid movie like the 1st flick ill wait for the dvd to come out then I redbox it for a buck

      • Yeah, because somebody has the nerve to not agree with what you think about something, it MUST mean they didnt understand it, or dont have good taste, or whatever. You even go as far as calling for self inflicted violence.

        Cant just be that it really wasnt some people’s cup of tea.
        Grow up… Oh wait, I think I just figured out why you like the movie so much!

  21. Btw james spader was awesome in wolf that was a awesome movie

  22. Not a big Avengers fan, but this one is starting to sound good. As long as Iron Man is in them, I am there (the other 3 guys are kind of boring).

  23. Always dug Spader. If you look up smarmy in the dictionary, I tell you this, you’ll see Spader. Great actor

  24. headline says, “This is Why James Spader is Playing Ultron”

    Answer seems to be his voice, and that warranted a whole article for a one word answer, really!?

    • Did you read the whole article?

      If you’re looking for tweets, this is the wrong site, friend.

  25. Captain Marvel would win… She’d absorb the high energy from Cyclops’ eye beams, and dish out a return to sender that he would never forget.

  26. The worst part about dealing with someone who thinks they’re an expert is when they’re totally wrong.

  27. Jeffrey Combs a better choice?