James Spader Explains Why He Signed On For The Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Joss Whedon opened up earlier this month and explained why it was that he chose James Spader to play the robotic villain Ultron in the upcoming Avengers sequel, the filmmaker explaining that the actor was his "first and only choice," but now it's the star's turn to put his two cents in about the blockbuster role. Speaking to The Independent (via Comic Book Movie), Spader has revealed what led him to take the new part.

According to the actor, who is currently promoting his new series The Blacklist on NBC, having the opportunity to play a role in a comic book movie brings him back to memories from his childhood - but in a rather unconventional way. "I think it'll be a lot of fun and it's incredibly nostalgic for me," Spader explained. "When I was a kid my best friend had trunks of comics and I didn't have any so I used to love going for sleepovers at his house." But in taking the role not only is he appealing to his inner child, but also taking on a part that he knows his kids will enjoy. "I have three sons and two of them have a great interest in comics," he said, "so they're excited I'm playing the role."

The Avengers: Age of Ultron isn't scheduled to go into production until early next year, the schedule targeting the film's May 1, 2015 release date, but evidently Spader's work on the movie has already begun. In a separate interview with Inquirer Entertainment the actor noted that just this past weekend he started doing his part in having his likeness lent to the movie's metallic antagonist. Said the star,

"just this weekend I went in for them to take very extensive photographs, head scans, body scans, and all kinds of things in preparation for figuring out how the hell I’m gonna fit in this Ultron character!"

At this point it's still unclear if Spader's Ultron is going to be brought to life through motion-capture or just pure CGI, but as I explained when the actor was first cast I'm really hoping for the former. Hopefully what he started doing this past weekend is just a set up for that process. Spader has an amazing voice that should sound amazing coming out of Ultron's mouth, but the actor's physicality is so important to his performances that I can't imagine Whedon & Co. would just cut it all out.

In addition to Spader, The Avengers: Age of Ultron is expected to bring back Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders from the first film, as well some other fresh faces (perhaps Elizabeth Olsen and/or Aaron Taylor-Johnson?) Stay tuned for more updates as the movie gets closer to production, and see Spader in action tonight with the debut of the second episode of The Blacklist on NBC.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.