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Joss Whedon did something truly incredible at the helm of the first Avengers movie. In unprecedented fashion, he brought together not just a team of blockbuster superheroes, but brought together multiple franchises into one super movie. As impressive as his work was, however, it turns out that what he was really always looking forward to in the future was making an Avengers movie featuring The Vision.
This past summer, I was a member of a small group of journalists who flew out to England to visit the set of the upcoming The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and it was while interviewing Joss Whedon that he revealed that he had a clear idea of what he wanted to do with the film even before he knew what he was doing with the original. Discussing the look of The Vision, the writer/director revealed that he wanted to turn Paul Bettany into the android even before he signed on to work with Marvel, and that he’s had a very real plan for a long time. Said Whedon,
"Before I took the first job, I said, ‘Well, I don’t know if I’m right for this, or if I want it, or you want me, but in the second one the villain has [to be] Ultron and he has to create The Vision, and that has to be pulled by me.’ It took me three years before I could tell Paul that I’d had that conversation."
As to why Whedon believes that Bettany will make a perfect big screen version of The Vision in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, his answer was rather simple. "He’s just got, let’s face it, it’s about cheek bones, people!" the filmmaker said.
Of course, while various images and the debut teaser trailer have given us sneak peeks at just about every important Avengers 2 character, The Vision is a character that the folks at Marvel have continued to hide. Concept art released during San Diego Comic-Con gave us a hint of what to expect, but we have yet to see Paul Bettany in the costume. While we wait for that day, it’s worth noting that what we will see will be almost entirely practical, as Bettany was turned into Vision not through motion capture, but through costuming and makeup. As Whedon explained to us on set while sitting in Tony Stark’s Avengers Tower office:
" Basically, what usually happens is, one of the guys, Ryan Meinerding or one of the guys in VisDev, draws something unbelievably beautiful, and we try to create that in real life, And it takes a long time. The first tests were very Violet Beauregarde. It really took a long time to get to a place where we felt like… even though we will work on him in post, he walks on [set], and we go, ‘Oh, it’s The Vision - my God!’"
Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before The Vision is officially revealed. In the meantime, stay tuned for The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which will be arriving in theaters May 1, 2015.