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Comic book fans understand Ultron – or, the different versions of Ultron that they’ve read about in different issues dating all the way back to 1968, when the robot first appeared in Avengers. But film fans who adored Joss Whedon’s Marvel’s The Avengers might not know what Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will have to face in next summer’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron, so these fresh comments from Whedon will be insightful… and more than a little tantalizing.
Whedon was speaking with Empire Magazine as part of the mag’s summer movie preview, and while The Avengers: Age of Ultron doesn’t open this year, it casts a long enough shadow over the season that we’re already anticipating what the Marvel crew will be able to bring to theaters next May. When asked to discuss Ultron’s personality in this next movie, and what they are trying to accomplish with the evil villain, Joss Whedon explained:
Last time, I had all of Earth's Mightiest Heroes versus one British character actor, and I needed more conflict. I'm having a blast with Ultron. He's not a creature of logic -- he's a robot who's genuinely disturbed. We're finding out what makes him menacing and at the same time endearing and funny and strange and unexpected, and everything a robot never is."
Having James Spader as the voice of said robot likely allows Whedon the chance to explore different disturbing emotions in a sentient being. The challenge facing the Avengers franchise time after time is that Marvel – or Joss Whedon, if he keeps directing the installments in this franchise – has to keep coming up with a threat that’s large enough to justify reuniting the full complement of Avengers, from Thor and Iron Man to Captain America and newcomers Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. For example, The Winter Soldier wasn’t a big enough threat, apparently, for Tony Stark to swoop down to Washington, D.C. and help dismantle Hydra (which was masquerading as S.H.I.E.L.D.) But Ultron will be a big enough problem that the whole team will have to unite… in a more exotic location.
On that note, Whedon talked to Empire about filming The Avengers: Age of Ultron in various European and African locations, trying to introduce a new backdrop to the action. And I loved his comment about moving the familiar characters to new areas for the benefit of his film:
This, palette-wise, is very different. I'm trying to make a different film. Because why would you make one movie twice? That seems weird."
That DOES seem weird! And yet, someone as business savvy as Joss Whedon no doubt understands that far too many directors who’ve experienced success (cough, Michael Bay, cough) happily go back to the well and make the same movie twice. Or four times.