WARNING - POTENTIAL SPOILERS for Avengers: Age of Ultron & Future Marvel Movies!
We're only a few short months from the theatrical premiere of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which will see the return of Earth's Mightiest Heroes as they square off against their greatest foe yet. While moviegoers are no doubt excited to see Iron Man, Captain America, and friends come back for another go-around, the inclusion of new characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (such as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch) has been the subject of much fanfare as well.
Motion-capture guru Andy Serkis, who has infinite amounts of geek cred after his roles in Lord of the Rings and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, will be portraying one of these new arrivals in Joss Whedon's sequel; albeit in the flesh as opposed to a digital creation. Those who have seen Serkis in his Avengers 2 get-up in the trailers probably have some idea of who he might be playing, and it turns out those inclinations could very well be right. Schmoes Know is reporting that a source of theirs has confirmed that Serkis is in fact playing Ulysses Klaw, who is best known as an adversary for Black Panther. Based on what we know about the production, this is what we had expected. The second Age of Ultron trailer sported several teases about how that corner of the Marvel universe could be incorporated into the proceedings (vibranium, filming took place in South Africa), and Serkis' character certainly had more than some resemblance to the villain's distinctive look.
According to the source, the movie version of Klaw will differ slightly from the comics counterpart, in that Serkis' interpretation will blend elements of both Klaw and the character's father Fritz Klaue. In the comics, Fritz had connections with Baron von Strucker, who will be played by Thomas Kretschmann in the film, so it's easy to see how things could be altered for the movie's purposes. It's possible that Klaue will be mentioned in passing, but most of his comic book characteristics will be adapted by Ulysses.
As for how Klaw will factor in to Age of Ultron's plot, we've known for a while that the titular villain will take many forms over the course of the film's running time, one of which is a shell of vibranium. If Ultron needs to get his hands on the material (which is native to Black Panther's home country of Wakanda), contacting a metal smuggler like Klaw would be a logical way of attaining some.
Of course, since this is Marvel, they're looking for Klaw to be more than just a supporting character in a single film. At the front of their Phase 3 slate is Black Panther, which will debut in November 2017. If the studio is introducing Klaw now, they most likely want him to go head-to-head with T'Challa at some point in the future, making him an ideal opponent for the King of Wakanda in his solo vehicle. Throw in the fact that the wide audience that sees Age of Ultron will become familiar with some Black Panther aspects, it's even more of a win-win for Marvel.
So even if Serkis has a small (but seemingly vital) role in Age of Ultron, fans can look forward to future appearances where he can really flesh the character of Klaw out. That news should please many, as Serkis is a big audience-favorite and has proven time and time again he's up for any acting challenge. Getting a chance to see him sink his teeth into a villainous part such as this should be a real treat for the next couple of years.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be in theaters May 1.
Source: Schmoes Know
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