With Guardians of the Galaxy having ooga-chakad its way onto our screens and into our hearts, the next Marvel Cinematic Universe movie* we’ll be shelling out too much of our hard-earned money on (thanks, movie ticket prices) is Avengers: Age of Ultron. We still have a better part of a year to wait until its May 1st, 2015 release, and Marvel’s notoriously persnickety about spoilers, but if you’re a nerd with semi-obsessive research tendencies (*eyedart*) you can cobble together a fair bit of information based on scattered quotes, rumors, and fan speculation. Sure, some of it’s of dubious accuracy. But when you have another 10 months before you get to see Cap’s glorious buns on the big screen, you have to take what you can get.
To that end, here’s everything we (think we) know about Avengers: Age of Ultron (so far).
*unless you count Big Hero 6. Don’t.
Let’s kick it off with the stuff everybody already knows: We’re looking at two new good guys, Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). They’re Avengers in the comics, and they’re also the twin children of Magneto, which is how they came to have their mut—uh, I mean superpowers. Marvel Studios can’t so much as say the “m” word without the fires of legal retribution raining down on them. So, based on the Captain America: The Winter Soldier post-credits scene, it looks like MCU Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch got their powers (super speed for him, “chaos magic” for her) after being experimented on by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) using the Infinity Stone in Loki’s scepter. As for the rest of the twins’ backstory, Marvel President Kevin Feige has said that Quicksilver’s character (and Scarlet Witch’s too, I’d assume) is greatly informed by him being “an Eastern European child of a war-torn country.”
On the other side of the morality spectrum we’re getting robot baddie the Vision (Paul Bettany), whom in the comics Scarlet Witch falls in love with and eventually marries, FYI. Thanos (Josh Brolin) is the villain being built up to for Avengers 3; he may or may not get a cameo in this film. The main villain for Ultron is, of course, Ultron (James Spader), who…
Change From the Comics #1
…was created by Tony Stark (you know who he is) as a “self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence designed to help assess threats, and direct Stark’s Iron Legion of drones to battle evildoers” so he and his fellow superheroes can lounge around having margaritas, I guess. Only Ultron figures the biggest threat to humans is other humans, so he gets a li’l murderous. Tony, Tony, Tony. I thought you were supposed to be smart! Have you never seen a single robot movie? That always happens. The way the MCU’s doing Ultron’s origin story is a big change from how it was in the comics, where he was created by Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who won’t show up until Ant-Man. Ultron also won’t be so powerful as he was in the comics.
Of course, Bettany, who plays the Vision, previously voiced Tony Stark’s AI JARVIS. Given the theme of “whoops, my AI went nuts and started killing people,” it’s a reasonable assumption that JARVIS turns into the Vision at some point, likely with the help of Ultron (who created JARVIS in the comics). Tony Stark: f*cking everything up.
We’re Looking At Four “Prominent” Female Characters
Director Joss Whedon hath spoken—there will be four ladies in Age of Ultron with sizable roles. Two of them are Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson) and Scarlet Witch, and the third is probably Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), whose presence in the film has been confirmed. As for the fourth… I’unno. Possibly Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) or Agents of SHIELD‘s Skye (Chloe Bennet) or Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen). Or perhaps a brand new character, like…
Ms. Marvel, Is That You?
Or probably not Ms. Marvel, because if the rumors are to be believed (grain of salt handy, please), she will only have a cameo in Age of Ultron… possibly of the end-of-the-credits variety as a way of setting her up for a larger role in the future. The rumor comes courtesy of Badass Digest’s Devin Faraci, who says “I have information about multiple drafts of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and all feature a cameo by a character the script calls Ms. Marvel (nothing else, including a civilian name or basic look, is specified).” Feige has said in the past that they’ve “talked a lot” about doing a Captain Marvel movie (that would be the Carol Danvers version, earlier called Ms. Marvel). But they’ve also been rolling around the idea of a Black Panther movie for years now, and look how far that’s come.
Hulk and Hawkeye and Black Widow, Oh My!
It’s been confirmed by Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner that their respective characters will get more screen-time than in the Avengers’ first go-around. And Renner couldn’t be happier: “It feels kind of fun to explore his voice, (because he does speak in this one!).” Black Widow will also be “a huge part” of the movie, according to Whedon. And she’ll also ride a motorcycle at some point. (Hey, I’m a completionist.)
But No Loki
Or “Noki,” I guess you could say. Sorry, Tumblr.