In the cinematic universe Marvel has built, to say there’s a sequel to the 2012 AVENGERS film leaves out quite a bit of detail. The film which assembled Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Captain America was built on the backs of the five films featuring those individual characters, with Hawkeye, Black Widow and Nick Fury joining in on the action as side-characters (and even cameos). The second AVENGERS film has been announced, and although the trek to move towards it will involve just as many build-up films as its predecessor, we do know who the villain will be for the film, and the identity of the actor cast to portray the character.
The sequel is called AVENGERS: Age Of Ultron, and Marvel has announced that James Spader has been cast to portray the titular android Ultron. It was previously rumored that Ultron would be an extension of the artificial intelligence bot JARVIS, created by Tony Stark and played a significant role in the first three Iron Man films. When we last saw JARVIS, it was in a state of ruin at the end of IRON MAN three. Could it perhaps have been rebuilt, and that’s what becomes ULTRON? That was heavily speculated in light of a few reasons:
- In the 1960s, Ultron’s origin story in Marvel Comics includes being created by Hank Pym, the alter-ego of ANT MAN.
- Ultron hypnotized a character named Edwin Jarvis, the manservant of Tony Stark’s family and assistant to the AVENGERS, and used that influence as he fought the group.
- It has been announced that an ANT MAN film is in development, to be released in 2015 along with AVENGERS: Age Of Ultron.
Edgar Wright, who has been tapped to direct ANT MAN, gave an interview with Huffington Post where he indicated that Ultron was “never in my script”. That doesn’t mean that there’s no link between Pym and Ultron, as some websites are assuming. Wright simply states “even just to sort of set up what Ant-Man does is enough for one movie” and that “superhero films fail — or they have mixed results — because they have to set up a hero and a villain at the same time. And that’s really tough. And sometimes it’s unbalanced”.
Is there a link between JARVIS and ULTRON? Is Hank Pym partially responsible for the creation of the villain in the AVENGERS sequel? What of THANOS, who appeared after the credits of the first AVENGERS film and was assumed to be the primary villain in the AVENGERS sequel?
With a THOR sequel, a CAPTAIN AMERICA sequel, a SHIELD television series and a film called GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY coming between now and the release of ANT-MAN and AVENGERS: Age Of Ultron, I’m sure more details will become clear.