Here's the new poster for AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON; Joss Whedon talks JAMES BOND and GODFATHER II influences

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Avengers: Age of Ultron is undoubtedly one of the biggest movies of the year, and right now there’s practically nothing that can blunt my excitement for it. Not even this new official poster for the film which shows the entire team assembled together while a sky full of Ultrons bear down on them.

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It’s also crap. The design is uninspired and the composition is shoddy at best (what the hell is Quicksilver even standing on?!), with everybody seemingly just being smooched together randomly, staring at various, obviously interesting things that we can’t see. Also, Nick Fury may need to use the toilet really badly.

So why am I writing about it? Well, firstly, it’s a new poster for the next Avengers movie for Odin’s sake! And secondly, the poster actually confirms a little mystery that has been confounding fans. If you look closely at the casting list at the bottom, you’ll notice that Anthony Mackie’s name is actually included. With his Sam Wilson aka Falcon playing such a crucial role in Captain American: The Winter Soldier (and taking into consideration the fact that he’s comic book counterpart has recently become the new Captain America), many fans were left wondering as to why we weren’t hearing anything about him joining the team, or even seen a single glimpse of him in any of the many images and trailers that have been released. Even Mackie was saying just over a month ago that he hadn’t shot anything for the movie. This casting list suggests otherwise.

You can also see the names of Idris Elba, Hayley Atwell and Stellan Skarsgard, who of course exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the Asgardian watcher, Heimdall, SHIELD founder and Captain America’s WWII squeeze Peggy Carter, and previously brainwashed scientist Erik Selvig. There inclusion may also come as a bit of a surprise, if it wasn’t for the fact that Elba had previously blurted out – much to Marvel”s annoyance, I’m sure – that they would also be playing a part in the action after all.

Action that begins with a pre-credit sequence that pulls its influence from a different blockbuster franchise starring a certain British superspy according to what writer/director Joss Whedon explained to Empire.

“There is a pre-credit Bondian blow-out. The James Bond theme has come up more than a few times, mainly because the locations are so beautiful and in particular the opening location is really stunning. There was a moment where there were soldiers and different kinds of people fighting them, and these guys in winter camo come up on a castle in one of those mountain resort elevators that goes side-to-side and looks like a gumball machine, and I was looking at the Italian Alps and the mist and the castle, and this weird thing rises up, full of soldiers in winter camo, and everybody was like… [sings the Bond theme].”

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Marvel movies are of course known for post- and not pre-credit sequences, but that’s just one of the new tricks that Whedon has up his sleeve. Tricks he may have learned from his godfather. And some dogs.

“The only reason you come to do this again after the kind of splash we made is because you think you can make a better movie. But what’s exciting to me is that I’ve been able to attack it really like a terrier, like a pitbull, like a crossbreed between a terrier and a pitbull, a Perrier, I guess you could say.”

“I know I reference ‘Godfather Part II’ a lot. ‘Don’t reference the greatest movie ever made because that’s Icarus, you moron!’ But at the same time it is a huge touchstone for me because you get everything you got from the first ‘Godfather’ movie in a very different movie, in a movie that structurally couldn’t be more different, and thematically and in intent and in mood, and yet nobody ever goes, ‘It wasn’t Godfathery enough.’ I need to give people an exciting ride about heroic people, and that’s certainly part of why I signed on, but at the same time a richer, deeper, darker movie is not a bad thing,”

Admittedly, just doing more of the same has been a real worry for Age of Ultron, especially since the first Avengers is highly regarded that just repeating what worked in there is so tempting. The fact that Whedon is willing to try new things certainly bodes well, in my opinion.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is out on May 1, 2015.

Last Updated: February 25, 2015

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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