As more and more Marvel fans catch up with The Avengers: Age of Ultron, tiny Easter eggs and comic references sprinkled throughout Joss Whedon’s blockbuster are coming to the surface. We haven’t seen too many people talk about this one yet, so I’m going to hide it behind a spoiler tag, because it dives in to a third-act twist in Whedon’s script.
There will be Age of Ultron spoilers from this point forward!
Heading in to the final battle against Ultron, the Avengers are coming to terms with the fact that J.A.R.V.I.S. has been transitioned into the newly-crafted body of The Vision (Paul Bettany). This unusual hero agrees to fight alongside the team, so each member of The Avengers starts suiting up. This includes Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), who needs a "new" J.A.R.V.I.S. He selects a card/program with the name F.R.I.D.A.Y., a female-voiced program (voiced by Better Call Saul actress Kerry Condon) who coaches Iron Man through the final battle, particularly when he’s attempting to deduce how best to decimate Ultron’s makeshift meteor before it crashes back into our planet and eliminates the Earth’s population.
So, Tony Stark has a new J.A.R.V.I.S., a replacement for the A.I. that now inhabits the body of The Vision. But while I initially thought this was a clever reference by Joss Whedon to Howard Hawks’ masterful His Girl Friday (because Stark has plenty of Cary Grant in him), it turns out, after doing some research, I found that this likely is, in fact, a deep-cut reference to a creation of Tony’s on the Earth-616 timeline. In this existence, Stark – needing a virtual assistant – created the hologram of a young woman and named her F.R.I.D.A.Y. At first, the F.R.I.D.A.Y. personality was happy and helpful. Gradually, it worked against Tony… the way that a teenager would rebel against a parent. To be honest, I’m not entirely familiar with the character. It sounds like she was short-lived, but relevant enough for Whedon to slyly reference her.
The Age of Ultron doesn’t go that far into the mythology of this new creation. In fact, I didn’t even pick up on the fact that Tony (Downey Jr.) was talking to a new voice until I caught The Avengers a second time. I’m so used to seeing RDJ talking in the helmet, I barely noticed Condon’s voice.
But her existence proves that Tony Stark hasn’t learned his lesson, and he’ll continue to dabble with A.I., even though his creation, Ultron, instantly rebelled against him and nearly destroyed the entire planet. What other Easter Eggs and Marvel references did you catch during screenings of The Avengers: Age of Ultron? Share them with us below!