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Some minds were blown and other minds were baffled when Joss Whedon announced onstage in Comic-Con's Hall H that the sequel to his blockbuster Avengers would be called The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Those familiar with Ultron from Marvel’s comics took this to mean that we might get our first cinematic look at scientist Hank Pym, who eventually becomes the superhero Ant-Man-- Pym is a major part of the Age of Ultron comic series, which just wrapped.. Sadly, this doesn’t appear to be the case, as Whedon himself spoke with Marvel at Comic-Con, via ComicBookMovie.com, and said that Pym won’t be in the film at all. But he did say that Hawkeye will have a more pronounced role. High five, Jeremy Renner fans!
While it was already clear that the new film wouldn't directly adapt the stellar recent comic series from writer Brian Michael Bendis-- Wolverine stars in the comics and Marvel Studios doesn't own the rights to him, for one thing-- it was still assumed that Whedon might stick to comic history. Pym created Ultron based on his own brain patterns, but the robot soon gained sentience and a pretty healthy hatred for his father, and eventually for all of the Avengers, whom he tries to destroy several times. So if Pym isn’t going to be around to create him, who will it be?
"We’re crafting our own version of it where his origin comes more directly from the Avengers we already know about," Whedon said. I’m pretty sure he isn’t talking about Black Widow inventing anything. The only Avenger we know that has already created sentient technology is Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man. I mean it’s possible Bruce Banner could assist him in his duties and it would make sense. It’s still disappointing, as Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man is a highly anticipated entry in the Marvel Universe, and it was hoped that an Avengers sequel would introduce Pym to audiences before he got his own film. But it’s time to put that hope to rest.
Acknowledging that Hawkeye was kind of a wash in the first film, Whedon says he'll be pleased to flesh that character out. "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." I like Renner well enough when he isn’t taking things too seriously, so he could add yet another level of offbeat humor that made the first film so unique.
And finally, in addition to saying the sequel will take on "a science fiction theme that wasn’t there in the other one," Whedon shared that it isn’t just about destroying the shit out of America this go around, and calls it "very much a global Avengers film." A trip to North Korea maybe? Antarctica? Canada? Only time and more Whedon interviews will tell.
Check out our own Sean and Eric discussing the Marvel panel in detail and air out your Pym-inspired grievances in the comments.