Well, here’s more surprising comic book related casting news: James Spader has been cast to play Ultron in Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Age of Ultron, dropping in 2015. Spader has been an actor since the 1980s and in more recent years is known for his role as Alan Shore on ABC’s The Practice and Boston Legal. He also starred in the
final second to last season of The Office.
No where near as controversial as Affleck for Batman, Spader (age 53) is still an interesting choice for the primary antagonist in the follow-up to Marvel’s billion dollar baby. With multiple Emmy Award wins, we know that Spader has the acting chops needed to portray a ruthless and unfeeling menace like Ultron.
And let’s not forget he had a starring role in the ’90s sci-fi cult classic Stargate and a supporting role in 1994’s Wolf. So he has experience with special effects, over the top stories, and science-babble. And in the upcoming and very buzzed about, NBC series The Blacklist, Spader’s character appears to be the type of cold-blooded sociopath that he needs to invoke if he’s going to pull off Ultron.
In the comics, Ultron is an artificial intelligence originally created by Henry Pym (aka Ant-man aka Giant-Man aka Yellowjacket aka Goliath aka The Wasp) as the pinnacle of his scientific achievements. But like all good scientific intentions in comics, Ultron turned out to be threat to all of humanity, after developing a very severe Oedipus Complex towards his “father”.
Throughout the decades since his creation he’s faced off against the Avengers numerous times and is considered to be one of their deadliest foes. For the upcoming film, Ultron’s origins are going to be tweaked and connected more to Iron Man but Whedon (the director and writer of the film) has assured us that the spirit of the character will remain.
Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters in 2015.
Correction: Spader was in the second to last season of The Office, not the final season.