For fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. frustrated with its broken and confusing schedule of air dates, Marvel made us all forget about that with their Assembling a Universe special on ABC this evening. Featuring behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and concept art for the upcoming officially announced Marvel Studios productions, the highlight of the program was the reveals of several key character and costume designs.
With the final Phase 2 films all in production and the first Phase 3 film (Ant-Man) beginning to shoot later this year, the headlining segment was on The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which rounds off Phase 2 next summer. While there are several new characters the sequel will introduce, the pair earning the most attention are the "brother-sister act" of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, respectively.
Unable to avoid questions about their characters and roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the pair of talent - who can be seen together in Godzilla this May - have carefully dodged inquiries while vaguely revealing tidbits about their characters, powers and costumes for months now. Today, we can finally put to rest what they will look like for at least part of The Avengers 2, both in terms of their outfits and visual design of their powers in action.
Quicksilver has the simple power of being able to run at super high speeds whereas Scarlet Witch's abilities are a little more complex. From Olsen's hints, they involve a combination of telekinesis and perhaps even the ability to read the history of objects she touches. In the books, Scarlet Witch is incredibly powerful, able to alter reality, and we're curious as to what extent writer and director Joss Whedon will utilize the character and her overpowered abilities for the film's plot - especially considering her interesting relationships with Ultron and Vision, the latter of which who has yet to be officially confirmed as a new character appearing in the sequel.
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Our first look confirms that Aaron Taylor-Johnson's portrayal of Quicksilver won't involve silver hair but will involve a tight blue-colored bodysuit, reminiscent of the character's classic light blue tights. Sorry, no white lightning bolt down the front! As for Scarlet Witch, no extreme lingerie-esque design which we knew wasn't to be expected from Olsen's description of the character costume. This Scarlet Witch is much more real and rugged, but evidently powerful. The design team made sure to at least give her a red jacket. Keep in mind, it's possible they suit up in multiple outfits throughout the film.
Also note the combatants Quicksilver is running through, launching into the air. Those must be Ultron's army of robots - giving The Avengers a necessary group of faceless combatants to battle during the film's action sequences. So, consider it confirmed that Ultron is into building things, possibly even Vision (Paul Bettany). Does he try to convert some of Earth's Mightiest into androids like he attempted in the comics? Does a version of Ultron (he comes back in different forms and evolves so definitely expect that in the film) create his robotic "mate" Alkhema?
For the inevitable comparisons to Bryan Singer's version of the same characters appearing in X-Men: Days of Future Past, here are the pair, along with a shot of Evan Peters suited up as '70s Quicksilver:
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The other major reveal of course, is one fans have waited years for - the Hulkbuster. For every movie Tony Stark is in, there must be at least one new suit for him to showoff (must sell those toys!) and the Hulkbuster is one of the most iconic designs from the books and something we'e seen concept art for in the past. When the massive Mark 38 "Igor" suit was unveiled or Iron Man 3 we thought that could be it, but it wasn't. This is the real deal:
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For comparison purposes, here's the in-game art released years ago for the Hulkbuster design for The Incredible Hulk tie-in video game by sega, along with an image from Iron Man 3's "Igor" suit:
The official Hulkbuster concept art reveals a vastly larger suit for The Avengers: Age of Ultron, one that's bigger than other designs. We'd expect that Stark is inside that suit, while wearing one of his standard suits, but who cares - Iron Man is fighting the Hulk! This means previous rumors about Hulk potentially losing control in this film might prove true and for fans of the books, that might be setting up a scenario where The Avengers must make the difficult decision to remove Hulk from our world by blasting him off to space, leading to the oft-rumored Planet Hulk and World War Hulk storylines which have been reportedly of interest to Marvel Studios boss and producer Kevin Feige.
Does this lend more credence to the possibility of a Planet Hulk film or could we be being misled? Perhaps Ultron, the artificially intelligent antagonist of The Avengers 2, is simply controlling the Hulkbuster armor by hacking into it? We like to think it's the former and like in the books, Hulk simply cannot be tamed or controlled.
Stay tuned for more Phase 2 & 3 concept art revealed during the program. As an added bonus, here's another image of Black Widow and Hulk fighting back-to-back:
Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
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