The cast of The Avengers: Age of Ultron have their scripts in hand and production is gearing up to begin this March. Disney's Marvel Studios will be shooting primarily at London's Pinewood Studios where they previously worked on Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy.
The sequel to The Avengers was said from the beginning by writer and director Joss Whedon to be going international and over the last few weeks we've learned more about some of the on-location spots around the world where they will be filming parts of the movie. We can add Italy and Korea to that list with the latest news.
While Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo tease a darker, funny and "cerebral" followup from their read-throughs of the Age of Ultron screenplay, none of the stars spoke on the addition of new characters or new locations, but some of the recent shooting location announcements offer some hints on that front.
Before Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson were cast as new Avengers members Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, respectively, it was rumored that Whedon's version of the siblings had their origins stemming from Europe. Since they're characters who don't initially agree with what The Avengers stand for and may or may not work for one of the villains in the beginning of the film, some reports indicate that said villain could be Baron Wolfgang von Strucker - to be played by Dracula's Thomas Kretschmann. Strucker, in Marvel Comics, fought in both World Wars, worked with the Nazis, and lived through the ages thanks to the use of super-soldier-esque serums.
A press conference this morning confirmed that several scenes in The Avengers 2 will shoot in Northern Italy's Fort Bard and judging by the location and image above, we wouldn't be surprised if those scenes tie-in with the von Strucker character. Whedon and co. will also be shooting in the Aosta Valley.
We previously learned that the sequel will also reportedly be shooting scenes in South Africa leading some to believe that the fictional nation of Wakanda from Marvel Comics (home of the Black Panther character and family) may finally be introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Adding to Italy and South Africa, KDramaStars reports that they've confirmed that The Avengers 2 will feature 10-15 minutes worth of scenes in Korea to be shot in April, specifically Gangnam and Gyeonggi-do. They claim to have heard rumors that the scenes may involve a "disaster" scenario and that Korean stars Kim So Yeon, Han Se Yeul or Kim Min Jung are all up for a potential role. Another site, allkpop, adds to the rumor claiming that the female character could be a small villainous part.
Rumors aside, it's clear that Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios weren't kidding about making The Avengers sequel "global" and we're curious to see what stories from the comics they draw upon and how it may tie into the past based on its connections to Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the inclusion of a villain with WWII roots. Remember, an early version of The Avengers script had the Red Skull (from Captain America: The First Avenger) returning as a villain before it was decided that Loki would take that job.
"The events of Captain America [The Winter Soldier] will definitely affect the world of Avengers 2. But at the end of the day, I have to make my movie assuming that people will only have seen the first one, or possibly not even seen the first one. I can't assume that everybody went to see Thor [The Dark World], Captain America, and Iron Man 3 in-between. I have to go from one movie to the next and be true to what's happened [in the previous movies], but not be slavish to it. [...] The model I'm always trying to build from, or my guiding star, is The Godfather: Part II where a ton has happened in-between and it's a very different movie [from Part I], but you don't need any information. It's there in the film about what's happened since, what's different, and why is this a different film; why is it a different kind of structure, and why is it darker. It's all there, you're in the vernacular of the first movie and you're just ready to pick up in this new place, and hopefully that's what will happen with my movie. Obviously I'm talking about one of the greatest films ever made (The Godfather: Part II)... I hope mine will be good, but that is my guiding star."
The one downside of the film medium for these larger multi-part Marvel stories is outlined right there by Whedon when he explains that he won't be taking full advantage of the story arcs of the previous films since not all of the moviegoers will have seen them. Still, the continuity must be maintained just as much as The Avengers: Age of Ultron must stand on its own.
With Whedon and co. continuing to describe The Avengers sequel as being darker, hinting at some character deaths, what do you make of his comparisons or inspirations from The Godfather sequel?
Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
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