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While the impending immensity that is Avengers: Age of Ultron has been saturating us with entertaining hype over the last few months, one of the last holdouts when it came to the character reveals has been Paul Bettany’s Vision. Until now.
Prior to today, the character had been a tightly-kept secret, with only the briefest of glimpses shown. At least, that was until yesterday, when the cover of an upcoming issue of Entertainment Weekly gave us the first full-bodied glimpse of the awesome android. With that cat out of the bag, Marvel has given him the official full character poster treatment.
The new official poster from Marvel has Vision in an angled attack pose, showcasing Paul Bettany in all his stunning synthezoid glory, ready to discharge deadly energy blasts at some Ultron drones. It's probably safe to say that it's the most impressive image we’ve seen of Vision, thus far. It’s certainly a far cry from yesterday’s EW cover reveal, which seems to have Vision just standing stiff in an ambiguous backdrop with an uncomfortable "gotta go to the bathroom" look on his face. Yet, with this pair of "visionary" revelations, it seems that Marvel is letting go of any conceit of ambiguity regarding the portrayed allegiance of this perennial member of the comic book Avengers team in this film. He’s a hero, plain and simple.
In that spirit, the EW article attached to the revelatory cover would also divulge some minor plot details of the Vision character’s origin in the film, adapted loosely from the comic book canon. It seems that he will be birthed by combined technology from Tony Stark and his J.A.R.V.I.S. AI, as well as the villainous Baron Strucker’s robotic research. Yet, should it follow the comic book origin even further, it could be the case that Vision will be the creation of Stark’s own rogue robotic creation, Ultron. In an ironic twist, the rogue creation’s own creation goes rogue on him, becoming a hero. (I like to call it, "Frankenception.")
For Paul Bettany, this role is the culmination of a long-term investment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that began in its very genesis with the first Iron Man film back in 2008, in which he began playing the voice of Tony Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S. The concept was originally adapted from the comic book character of Edwin Jarvis, who was Tony Stark’s butler; a character that would eventually manifest in his proper human form played by James D’Arcy on TV’s Marvel’s Agent Carter. Yet, with the AI character, who was likely inspired by the human butler who probably raised Tony as a child, we would start to see the MCU version of Vision slowly take shape over the years as a bizarre amalgam of several comic book storyline concepts. Yet, when it comes to writer/director, Joss Whedon and the folks over at Marvel Studios, it’s all sounding pretty solid and could serve as a huge payoff to a slow-burn storyline that was seemingly 7 years in the making.
Avengers: Age of Ultron will be looking to give Paul Bettany a much-needed action platform to help him forget the unmitigated disaster that was Priest when it hits theaters in just a few short weeks on May 1.