It would appear that Joss Whedon has found his central villain for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. According to The Wrap, James Spader - who earned rave reviews last year for his performance in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln - has landed the role of Ultron in the upcoming blockbuster sequel.
In the comics, Ultron is a robot that was created by scientist Hank Pym that has superior intelligence thanks to the fact that its mind is created with the same brain patterns as a human's (Pym's to be specific). While Pym created the machine hoping for it to be a force for good, it eventually becomes far too smart for its own good. It begins to see humans as a flawed race that must be eliminated. Thanks to Ultron's growing intelligence he is able to constantly upgrade himself, making him one of the most formidable foes that the titular superhero team has ever faced.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Whedon spoke about how he will be approaching the character, talking about finding the humanity in the character and even limiting his powers so that he will appear less like a magical creation in a more grounded science-fiction universe. Said the writer/director,
"I knew right away what I wanted to do with him. He’s always trying to destroy the Avengers, goddamn it, he’s got a bee in his bonnet. He’s not a happy guy, which means he’s an interesting guy. He’s got pain. And the way that manifests is not going to be standard robot stuff. So we’ll take away some of those powers because at some point everybody becomes magic, and I already have someone [a new character, Scarlet Witch] who’s a witch."
While Spader spent most of his early career on the big screen, playing roles in films like Less Than Zero, Sex, Lies and Videotape, and Pretty in Pink, his most recent work has mostly been on television, starring on shows like The Practice, Boston Legal, and The Office. He has a new series called The Blacklist that is set to debut on NBC next month, and feature-wise recently completed production on the Tommy Lee Jones-directed western The Homesman.
What do you think of Spader's casting as the central villain in The Avengers: Age of Ultron? Do you think that he has the right voice for the role? Answer our poll below and hit the comments to tell us what you think!