With Guardians of the Galaxy finishing its late summer run in theaters and Captain America: The Winter Soldier now on home video, all focus on the Marvel movie front going forward is on the studio's next - and biggest - release, The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Principal photography on the sequel to the third top-grossing film of all-time wrapped a month ago and now it's time for post-production and marketing leading up to its May 2015 release.
Marvel Studios hasn't been shy about who the villain(s) of The Avengers 2 are and the same goes for a few of the new potential heroes joining the cast. It was over a year ago when Joss Whedon took to the stage at San Diego Comic-Con 2013 to unveil the Age of Ultron subtitle of the film and it was a few months before that where he teased the introduction of at least two new important Marvel Comics characters joining the fray.
Then came the reports and eventual confirmation that there's at least one more hero (The Vision) and one more villain (Baron von Strucker) were also a part of the project. Now, we have the official plot synopsis of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, released by Disney and Marvel Studios:
Marvel Studios presents “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.
Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.
Written and directed by Joss Whedon and produced by Kevin Feige, Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963. Get set for an action-packed thrill ride when The Avengers return in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on May 1, 2015.
While the story synopsis is vague it also solidifies a few of the expected plot points. The Vision for instance, a creation of Ultron to prove that he to - an artificial intelligence - can "create life," is a bit of a question mark when he is first introduced and his loyalties might be in question. He's naive but with Paul Bettany playing him and him being created by Ultron, it's clear that Iron Man's most trusted ally, his AI assistant J.A.R.V.I.S., has a role to play in The Vision's personality and eventually, his allegiances.
The same can be said for "the twins," the two new super-powered characters known as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. We knew ever since writer and director Joss Whedon began talking of the pair that they'd bring some major conflict to The Avengers and don't necessarily agree with what they stand for. They too must eventually help out to prevent Ultron from destroying humanity, as evidenced by the collage of Avengers 2 Comic-Con posters which show the three new characters fighting alongside the original six against an army of Ultron robots.
As for "unexpected action," we can only hope that since we know the basic plot, villains and new heroes, that there's even more that we don't know about (Ms. Marvel or Black Panther appearance?). We also know there's at least one curious fight that takes place in the film which involves Hulk seemingly losing control again and having to battle Iron Man suited up in his Hulkbuster armor. Is there even more unexpected action?
At the end of the film, the Marvel Cinematic Universe might look quite a bit different, especially if some of these characters don't live through it (see: Joss Whedon hinting at "death") - can it top the game-changing plot of Captain America: The Winter Soldier which saw the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization torn apart?
The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on July 28, 2017, and unannounced films for July 8 2016 and May 5 2017, November 3 2017, July 6 2018, November 2 2018 and May 3 2019.
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