'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Producer Details Sequel's Story & New Characters

Official Vision (Paul Bettany) Poster - Avengers 2 Age of Ultron

Who would he have played in Iron Man 2?

Jeremy Latcham: There was a flashback notion that related back to Tony's past, kind of where the idea of JARVIS came from, out of Tony's past and his father. That kind of thing.

I assume there's a clear-cut connection between JARVIS and Vision?

Jeremy Latcham: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Can you go into that?

Jeremy Latcham: I probably shouldn't, but there's definitely a connection. There's also definitely a connection between Vision and Ultron, which is from the comics. We're definitely trying to do that version of it in a cool way.

Can you talk about Ultron's origins and motivations?

Jeremy Latcham: He is created during the story. What we come to find out to a degree is that Tony's been working on a plan to create something. We start to see it in Iron Man 3, that he's got all these sentient suits, and he's letting Jarvis run more of the business. He's got an idea that, to be an Avenger, he doesn't necessarily have to put on a suit of armor and go out and fight himself. He's trying to get away from that, so he's continually experimenting with that idea. We see him slowly start to bring that to life over the course of this movie. And it ends with them, he and Banner, saying, "We finally have a way that we can make this happen. We need to move quickly... and maybe we shouldn't tell everybody else," which is maybe a mistake. So it's Stark and Banner, yeah.

Avengers Age of Ultron 2015 Poster (Review)

Do you have a very clear path of where you're going to go in the next stage of movies? And is it really set that deep?

Jeremy Latcham: We always have a broad sense of where we want to go. I think as we're getting further into this, we're developing more of a sense of where we think it's heading, and that's based on events that happened in Thor: The Dark World, in Guardians of the Galaxy and in this film. There's definitely a sense of this bigger, connected universe. Part of why things feel like they might be accelerating is, we don't want to leave people hanging for a long time... Because movies take so long to come out, you don't want to leave it for way, way down the line, because that's going to get boring and frustrating for fans. If things are accelerating, it's because we want to bring it to fruition and make good on all the promises that have been made.

Do you guys envision a shorter time between Avengers 2 and Avengers 3?

Jeremy Latcham: I don't know yet. I doubt it.

Note: Interview occurred on June 15th, 2014 from the set and later in October Avengers 3 (Avengers: Infinity War- Part 1) was given an official release date for May 2018.

Talk a little bit about when Joss was first coming up with the idea of the movie and mentioning it to the studio. From what you guys are filming now, is it similar to the original stuff, or did a lot change?

Jeremy Latcham: Well, the way Joss works is, he's always writing. And because he's such a prolific writer he's always idea-ing. Like, "Here's an idea, and I've evolved it. Here's another idea, and I've evolved it." So things are always changing - sometimes at our behest and sometimes just at Joss's behest, as he works through everything.

But when I recently went back and reread the first email that Joss sent me, when we first started saying we were going to make the movie - the "Let's do it; let's make Avengers 2" - a lot of the big milestone moments that made me excited to read that first email are in the movie. So that's gratifying, when you go back and read it and go, "Oh, yeah, that moment's in. Yeah, that moment's in." Because sometimes good stuff gets lost in development, because you'll have a great moment or a great image or a great line. Then there are a thousand reasons why, "Oh, well, that doesn't really fit into other plans," or this or that. And then you get done, and you go, "Wait a minute, I feel compromised. What happened to the good ideas?" You have to go back and dig 'em up. [But] Joss has done a good job this time of keeping those cool ideas right in the center of the movie.

Avengers: Age of Ultron Guide

How do you deal with casting these giant, iconic roles?

Jeremy Latcham: I think the business stuff always works itself out. There are lawyers and agents and managers and people that do all that stuff. I think the main thing is that we have a story we want to tell, and if it involves X, Y, or Z and that actor's excited about it or that filmmaker's excited about it, then we'll figure out how to make it happen. That's been almost every case, where there's been a big question or complication, and we found a way to overcome them and make it happen.

Do you think part of this film is knowing who the actors were walking in? So Joss already knew the strength of these actors and could really give them more that is tailored to them?

Jeremy Latcham: One of the best parts of the whole process is - I think the hardest part of Joss's job in my opinion, watching him work - is having to balance such a huge cast and having to service every single story and every single actor and every single character's backstory. It's really complicated. The thing that Joss does so well is he's able to balance it. He's great with an ensemble, and he's able to move people through a story. But what's great about where we're at now, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is maturing more, is the actors know their characters so well.

So I'll get a phone call from Kevin Feige, and he'll say, "Hey, I just hung out with Chris Hemsworth. He had a couple questions, and boy, are they great. We need to talk. Let's get on the phone with Joss tonight if we can and go through it." And I'll call Joss and say, "Hey, Kevin just heard from Hemsworth -" He goes, "I just got an email from him. Let's go through it because I totally agree: the guy's got really good stuff." So the actors are bringing so much to it because they've been through it.

One of the hardest parts of the process is, I'm not on every movie. I was on Avengers 1, and now I'm doing Avengers 2. [But] Joss and I weren't there [on Winter Soldier and Dark World] to say, "Oh, yeah, why'd that decision happen? Why is that one line in the movie? And what did that line mean to the actor and mean to the broader story?" The actors were there, so there's just this great feeling of them taking so much ownership over their characters when they come into it. Evans does it, Downey does it, and Hemsworth does it really successfully. They go, "Oh, no, no, this happened in this movie for a reason. Let's build on it." So there are little throwbacks and lines that connect back. It's fun watching the actors really take ownership of that process. It's just awesome. It's really cool.

Was there feedback at all, with the fans, that Hulk would have a bigger part in this film? Can you talk about that and the concept art with the Hulkbuster and if that was done because he was such a fan favorite?

Jeremy Latcham: Hulk definitely has a bigger role in the movie because he was a fan favorite. There's no question. The other thing was, Joss looked at the films in Phase 2 and said, "Who aren't people going to see between the first Avengers and the second Avengers?" One of those big things was Banner who only  got the Iron Man 3 cameo, where he said, "I'm not that kind of doctor," which was really fun. But it wasn't like he had a role, you know? So we knew we weren't going to see Banner. And Joss said to everybody, right away, "I don't want to use Banner anywhere else. Let's save him and save Hulk, and the only place you can see Banner and Hulk is in Avengers 2," because it was such a great response.

And Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a pseudo-Avengers film. It had Captain America, Nick Fury, Black Widow - it had so many characters in it. It was half the team and it had S.H.I.E.L.D., which felt very Avengers. It had the Quinjet. It had so much stuff from the first Avengers in it to tell that story, which was awesome, and it worked. So Joss was like, "I really want to protect Banner. I want Banner to be ours for the next movie." We knew fans liked Banner, and because we knew no one else could see him anywhere, it gave us something to kind of anchor this. You couldn't see him anywhere else, and that was definitely a decision we made early on, because we wanted to have something that you hadn't seen in the other movies.


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