When The Avengers broke worldwide box office records, it was only a matter of days before Disney's leadership confirmed a sequel. The Avengers 2 got an official summer 2015 release date with the specific note that the film was untitled, leading us to believe that like all of the non-Iron Man films, future Avengers films would utilize specific subtitles instead of embracing a numbering scheme.
At the end of Marvel Studios' Comic-Con 2013 panel, after footage was shown for the Thor and Captain America sequels, along with Guardians of the Galaxy, Joss Whedon came on stage and announced the title of the next project he's writing and directing: The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
In chatting with Marvel.com today, Joss Whedon revealed some key points about the title and story Age of Ultron. The most important note is that despite the title, the film is not based on the "Age of Ultron" Marvel Comics miniseries from earlier this year.
"We're doing our own version of the origin story for Ultron. In the origin story, there was Hank Pym, so a lot of people assumed that he will be in the mix. He's not. We're basically taking the things from the comics for the movies that we need and can use. A lot of stuff has to fall by the wayside."
What's interesting about the first appearance of Ultron in the late '60s is that part of mysterious introduction had the character using a brainwashed Edwin Jarvis - Tony Stark's butler - in his plans against The Avengers. In the films, Jarvis (voiced by Paul Bettany) takes the form of Stark's assistant AI who has an integral role in his workshop and helping Stark command his Iron Legion of additional armored suits in battle.
In the comics, genius scientist Henry Pym (Ant-Man) is responsible for the creation of Ultron, but if Pym is not part of the plan then Whedon isn't joking about crafting their own Ultron origin story. The simple theory then is that Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is perhaps responsible for the creation of Ultron and that Jarvis - in a twist on the Marvel Comics origin - may go rogue.
"We're crafting our own version of it where his origin comes more directly from The Avengers we already know about. It's a little bit darker than the other film because Ultron is in the house. There's a science fiction theme that wasn't there in the other one. Ultron is definitely something that evolves, so we're going to get together a couple of different iterations. Nothing can be translated exactly as it was from the comics; particularly Ultron."
The origin of Ultron stemming from the original Avengers roster adds more credence to the idea that Stark may be involved and such a plot would offer the needed motivator to get Stark back into the Iron Man armor after the events of Iron Man 3. As for there being no Hank Pym in the story, it would be odd for Marvel to not take advantage of their highest profile and most successful brand to help launch one of their riskiest in Ant-Man, a film that happens to come out just months after The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Don't be surprised to meet Ant-Man, whether its Hank Pym or another incarnation of the character, in The Avengers 2.
Fun Fact: In Marvel Comics, Ultron is the creator of Vision, the eventual android Avenger and love interest of Scarlet Witch.
Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, 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.
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Source: Marvel (via CBM)