In case any Marvel fans were getting distracted by what actress may have been cast as a future Wasp, the latest reports remind us that in the shared movie universe, The Avengers take top billing for the foreseeable future. Apparently, the artificially intelligent butler of Tony Stark will be getting an upgrade from voice to Vision.
That's right, Paul Bettany (having previously provided the voice of JARVIS, Iron Man's A.I.) is reportedly set to take on the mantle of the Vision, an intelligent android and future Avenger in The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The report comes from England's Daily Mail, further strengthening suspicions that Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) will be the driving force behind the creation of Ultron, not Hank Pym a.k.a. Ant-Man. While the comic books had Ultron spawned from the mind and work of Ant-Man, Marvel has made no secret of the fact that they are going to be changing canon - and this announcement of Vision's inclusion adds further evidence of their new take.
The first look at Ultron's helmet design made the connections between the Avengers enemy and Iron Man's own armor clear, but now it seems that Stark may be responsible for both the super-team's robotic foe and its android ally. But just as James Spader's face and performance will be worked into Ultron's design, it seems Paul Bettany will finally be lending more than his voice to a Marvel film.
According to Daily Mail, the actor was spotted visiting the film's production offices this week not to meet and greet, or record some lines, but to endure a team of make-up technicians as they applied "various powders and potions on Bettany’s pale skin to bring about the Vision’s chalk-white complexion." Die-hard comic fans will know that the most popular depictions of the Vision have him sporting his green and red costume, but it sounds like director Joss Whedon is going with the character's white makeover instead.
If the report is accurate, then the exact means by which Ultron is created become even more mysterious. Early on, it was thought that the easiest way to adapt the typical origin of Ultron was to have Tony Stark's JARVIS evolve some unsavory ambitions and take a suit of armor for himself. Those theories became less likely when Spader, not Bettany, was revealed to be bringing the villain to life. So where does JARVIS fit in?
It's too early to tell if JARVIS and Ultron are both the result of the same event, fracturing Stark's trusty A.I. ally into a light and dark side, or if the butler gains a fighting form to offer his human allies a better chance of survival. We doubt that mystery will be solved prior to the film's release, but the Age of Ultron is already seemingly being filled with more superheroes than Whedon will know what to do with. Of course, there's one way Whedon can solve that problem.
Nobody is going to doubt Bettany's skills, so fans will likely be pleased to know that he (or a digital copy of him) will finally get to appear alongside the rest of Marvel's most beloved characters. But the cast members themselves have spoken about how Whedon's story for the Avengers sequel will carry storylines forward - and JARVIS' ascension to the Vision could be a serious source of that character progression.
The previous team-up forced Tony Stark to 'make the sacrifice play,' but will he be as quick to sacrifice his closest friend and AI confidant? Will the Vision find love with the "messed up" Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)? We'd recommend holding off on theories until Marvel makes an official announcement, but the questions this raises about the overall film - and the films beyond it - are impossible to ignore.
What do you make of the new story for JARVIS? Is this the kind of twist you've been waiting for to bring the new origin stories together, or are you concerned there may be too much story for one film to handle well? Share your thoughts in the comments.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters on May 1st, 2015.
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Source: Daily Mail