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There is little question that Joss Whedon’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron is our most anticipated film of the upcoming summer blockbuster season. Ever since the credits began to roll on The Avengers back in 2012, we have been eagerly anticipating the sequel, and endlessly speculating about how its story would unfold and where it would leave things in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To help answer the second half of that mystery, Whedon recently went on record saying that we can expect the climax of the film to be "completely unhinged" and that the movie will be "larger" than its predecessor – but what exactly could that mean?
Strapping on our thinking caps and analyzing the recently revealed quotes from the Avengers 2 director, we’ve come up with three potential ways scenarios that could explain the filmmakers comments, and make Age of Ultron an even bigger spectacle than its massive, stunning predecessor.
3. Death, Death, And More DeathThough he doesn’t enjoy being labeled as the guy who kills off his best characters, Joss Whedon is tremendously skilled and experienced in scripting meaningful and dramatic death scenes. He understands like few other filmmakers that extreme consequences are sometimes necessary for a piece of fiction’s stakes to feel real, and there are many notable instances throughout his career where he has made this point. So why should we believe that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is any different?
We saw many Marvel characters narrowly escape the clutches of death in the MCU’s Phase II – including Agent Phil Coulson, Pepper Potts, and Nick Fury– but The Avengers: Age of Ultron could be Whedon’s opportunity to earn those resurrections in retrospect. Obviously there are certain characters who can’t be touched simply because we know of sequel deals in place, but there are others who are totally fair game. And there should be plenty of opportunity to narratively carry out this dark deed if the third act is as huge as we expect…
2. Global WarThe Avengers has one of the greatest final action sequences of any comic book movie we’ve seen, clocking in at a pretty-damn-impressive 30 minutes, but within context to what The Avengers: Age of Ultron potentially has in store, it may very well seem tiny. This is because the first time around we only saw a battle take over a few square blocks of Manhattan. In the sequel, we may see the battle between The Avengers and Ultron stretch around the entire world.
As the official synopsis for The Avengers 2 reads, the upcoming blockbuster will be "an epic and unique global adventure," and trailers have given us hints of places like the fictional African nation of Wakanda and locations in Eastern Europe. This in mind, what if Ultron’s army begins to swarm around the world simultaneously, creating battlefronts in every single nation on Earth? It would give the finale a much different kind of feeling than the first Avengers movie, while also setting up a situation that the audience really won’t be sure the heroes can survive. Of course, even a team of 10 extremely skilled individuals may not be enough to stop Ultron’s horde – so the Avengers may somehow need to call for backup…
1. Introducing A World Of HeroesIn case you haven’t noticed, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding at an exponential rate. Not only are the feature films regularly adding important characters to the bigger picture, but even the small screen is playing a huge role – with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. introducing the Inhumans, and the Marvel/Netflix deal about to give us new live-action versions of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. The fictional world is filling up with superheroes, and it’s not hard to believe that some/many of them could make their big screen debuts in The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
This theory holds up a lot better with the aforementioned idea of global war, as the core Avengers team would definitely need some backup in that kind of situation, but even without that the idea still fits. Going back to the quote that inspired this feature, I wouldn’t be shocked if Joss Whedon wrote a number of different Marvel heroes into the end of his Avengers 2 script, and wound up being surprised when the folks at the studio gave him the greenlight to move forward. If this is true, then it could be absolutely mind-blowing – but we’ll have to wait until May 1st to find out one way or the other.