It seems like it was just yesterday that we were all chatting away about the awesome potential of a Marvel Cinematic Universe and awaiting the big screen team up of some of our favorite comic book characters. The reality, however, is not only that The Avengers came out more than two years ago, but also that the upcoming sequel, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, is now more than halfway through production.
As you can see above, Joss Whedon announced the production milestone on Twitter this past weekend, pairing the message with a funny image suggesting that the film is doing its part to exhaust and suck the soul out of him. In case you're curious - like I was - the "young man" the top of the image can be identified as famed singer/actor/director Dick Powell. As for the bottom photo, I can't 100% confirm it, but I believe that the old man can be identified as William Hickey, known to some as the voice of Dr. Finklestein in The Nightmare Before Christmas. As anti-climactic as this may seem, sadly Powell and Hickey had very little career overlap, suggesting there's no hidden message in the pictures (which I'm sure all of you are massively disappointed by).
Reaching the halfway point on an ordinary studio film would normally mean that there are just a few more weeks of shooting ahead, but that's definitely not the case for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. The crew behind the Marvel Studios blockbuster have been in principal production since at least March, which means that we can expect production on Avengers 2 to run until the end of summer. If Joss Whedon is looking like an old William Hickey now, I bet he's going to look something like this come September:
The Avengers: Age of Ultron is based on an original script by Joss Whedon and will feature a cast that includes - at the very least - Robert Downey Jr. (as Iron Man), Chris Evans (as Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (as Thor), Mark Ruffalo (as Hulk), Samuel L. Jackson (as Nick Fury), Scarlett Johansson (as Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (as Hawkeye), James Spader (as Ultron), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (as Quicksilver), Elizabeth Olsen (as Scarlet Witch), Thomas Kretschmann (as Baron Von Struker), Don Cheadle (as War Machine/Iron Patriot) and Paul Bettany (as Vision). It's entirely possible that the first teaser trailer for the film will be attached as a post-credits sequence in James Gunn's Guardians of The Galaxy, a la how the first teaser for The Avengers was attached to Captain America: The First Avenger. That said, I would be amazed if they didn't bring any footage to San Diego Comic-Con this July, so stay tuned!