Damn you, Whedon.
Some of you guys may have read my article yesterday talking about the surprise announcement at this weekend past’s Comic-Con, revealing that the writer/director Joss Whedon’s Avengers sequel will be titled Avengers: Age of Ultron. You may then also have noticed the more than 1000 words I then typed up about the recently completed comic book mini-series of the same name, and how it could all be made to work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Well, can you can just forget everything you read. Seems I typed up all of that for nothing. Bloody Joss Whedon.
In a rather quick fashion, Whedon has already spilled the beans when he spoke to Marvel Live! and revealed that while the movie is subtitled “Age of Ultron” it actually has absolutely nothing to do with Brian Michael Bendis’ recent comic book service of the same name.
“Well, because there was a book called ‘Age of Ultron’ quite recently, a lot of people have assumed that is what we’re doing, but that is not the case. We’re doing our own version of the origin story for Ultron.”
So no time-travel shenanigans then? No alternate future ruled by a megalomaniacal robot? No having uninformed fans accusing Whedon of ripping off the plot of Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past? It would seem not.
One of my queries was how Avengers: Age of Ultron would tie up with Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man, seeing as that film – in which we would assumably be introduced to Ultron’s creator, Hank Pym – is only being released 6 months after the Avengers sequel. How could we meet the creation before the creator? Well, we can’t. And won’t, apparently.
“In the origin story, there was Hank Pym, so a lot of people assumed that he will be in the mix. He’s not. We’re basically taking the things from the comics for the movies that we need and can use. A lot of stuff has to fall by the wayside.”
“We’re crafting our own version of it where his origin comes more directly from The Avengers we already know about. It’s a little bit darker than the other film because Ultron is in the house. There’s a science fiction theme that wasn’t there in the other one. Ultron is definitely something that evolves, so we’re going to get together a couple of different iterations. Nothing can be translated exactly as it was from the comics; particularly Ultron.”
So then where does this Ultron come from? Well a lot of people are thinking he comes from the same place that a lot of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s magic comes from: Tony Stark. Devin Faraci over at BadAssDigest makes a good argument for the change, even perhaps picking up on some evidence supporting this claim, very cleverly hidden in plain view by Marvel.
“So where will Ultron come from? I believe the video that revealed the title gives the answer. The video opens on a shot of Iron Man’s mask, over which is played sound bites and small clips from The Avengers. The mask gets crushed and distorted, and then the camera pulls out to reveal Ultron’s head. This makes it seem pretty obvious that Tony Stark creates Ultron.
Remember all the complaints about the army of autonomous Iron Man armors Tony had after Iron Man 3? Perhaps this answers that problem – one of the armors becomes sentient and refashions itself into Ultron. Tony then becomes the object of its hate, and the whole situation shows why you need a man in the suit. Since we’re not getting any more Iron Man films it makes sense that Tony would be placed even more centrally in the next Avengers.”
That suddenly makes a whole lot of sense now. And while I would have preferred it that Pym was still the creator, as him accidentally creating this almost omnipotent villain and how he deals with the guilt thereof is one of the more compelling aspects of his character as a hero, I can actually see how this could come about in a completely organic way from the already established cinematic universe.
That being said, much like the Mandarin reveal in Iron Man 3, while I can completely see the logic of it all, I can’t help but feel that they could have done this within established comic book canon. I can accept changes in adaptation, but they don’t have to disregard what came before entirely.
Besides for just getting me to curse his name for making me type out unnecessary stuff, Whedon also went on to speak about the scope of the film, and also how one particular Avenger is going to get his well-deserved chance in the spotlight.
“It’s very much a global Avengers film. A lot of the movie has to do with their place not just in America, but the world.”
“Part of the fun for me, definitely this time around, is writing Hawkeye. He did get possessed pretty early by a bad guy and had to walk around all scowly for most of the movie so now it’s nice to actually have the character there and see him interact with the other guys.”
Happy now, Jeremy Renner? You may recall that the actor who played the bow-slinging assassin in The Avengers wasn’t too happy about his character being bumped down to lackey duty for most of the first film, much to the Marvel brass’ very public chagrin. I’m guess he’s suddenly going to be all “Yes, sir! Right away, sir!” from here on out.
Me, I’m just going to be all “Are we there yet?!” for the next two years.
Here’s the video of the full interview, where he also talks about how he always wanted to include Ultron, the villain’s place in the Avengers rogues gallery, the progress of the script (“It won’t be late”), when they start shooting (“next year January or February”) and answering some fan questions about the character.
Last Updated: July 23, 2013