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James Spader was by no means an obvious choice to play Ultron in Joss Whedon's upcoming sequel to The Avengers, but the moment we heard his name announced was also the moment that we all realized that it was a perfect fit. Spader has spent his entire 35 year career, both on the big screen and the small, putting on awesome, powerful, captivating performances, and it's no surprise that Whedon would want someone like that to play the villain in his next film. But what exactly was it bout the actor specifically that made the filmmaker want to add him to his next project?
Marvel.com's news video series The Watcher has received an exclusive quote from Whedon explaining why he decided that the star of Sex, Lies and Videotape and Secretary was the right choice to play his robot antagonist. "Spader was my first and only choice," the writer/director told the site. "He’s got that hypnotic voice that can be eerily calm and compelling, but he’s also very human and humorous. Ultron is not [Hal 9000]. Spader can play all of the levels. He’s the guy to break The Avengers into pieces. Muwahaha." Yes, that "Muwahaha" was actually part of the quote.
While this is the first time that the filmmaker has commented on the why he cast Spader as Ultron, it's not the first time that he's discussed his approach to the character. In a recent interview, Whedon made it very clear that the villain we will be seeing in Age of Ultron isn't going to just be a stoic bot that takes out humanity. Instead, this is a villain who is pissed off - specifically at the titular superhero team. "He’s always trying to destroy the Avengers, goddamn it," he said. "He’s got a bee in his bonnet. He’s not a happy guy, which means he’s an interesting guy. He’s got pain. And the way that manifests is not going to be standard robot stuff." Sounds like he's going to be giving the heroes a serious challenge.
In signing on, Spader has joined a cast that will include returning stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders. We still don't know who else the production is looking to bring aboard as new blood, but there have been some serious reports suggesting that Aaron Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen could be playing the brother-sister duo Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.
With the film set to be released on May 1, 2015 - kicking off the absolutely ridiculous summer 2015 blockbuster season - production is scheduled to start up at the beginning of next year. We're guaranteed to hear a whole hell of a lot more about the movie between now and then, so be sure to stay tuned for all of the details as they come out!