02 Avengers: Age of Ultron – The New Villian

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The decision to give Ultron his day in the sun as the villain of the film was always Whedon’s first choice despite the end sequence in Marvel’s “The Avengers,” which featured the character of Thanos. The writer/director explains, “For me Thanos was always meant to be in the third Avengers movie because he really is a god,” explains Whedon. “He is like a supreme being of evil and for me it was the cosmic cube because I’m really old; for some people it was the infinity gauntlet, but the great crossovers were usually Thanos-based and he made everybody’s lives miserable. And so the idea that he was the prime mover behind all of this just seemed natural.”

Whedon continues, “When people saw him in ‘The Avengers,’ everybody thought, ‘Oh, he must be the next villain and they are setting it up.’ That wasn’t my intention. My intention was just to say, ‘There’s a big, dark universe and this guy’s at the back of it.’ In my mind it was always going to be Ultron for this film.”

For Whedon, the task of fleshing out Ultron’s role in the sequel would go back to his childhood days. “The character of Ultron has been a mainstay villain for The Avengers since I was a kid,” says Whedon. “He was an evil, killer robot who really hates The Avengers and can self-replicate.”

Whedon elaborates, “I loved reading the old source material about Ultron, but when you go back and research, you discover that he’s just constantly saying ‘I will destroy you!’ or ‘I definitely will destroy you!’ The murderous child aspect of the character was fascinating to me, but it was clear right away that while I needed to evoke a grandeur and menace in the disassociation between the way his mind works and the way humanity’s structured, I needed to completely do a 180 and make him very volatile and angry all the time.

“I also needed to figure out what kind of person had that much rage and how it would be expressed. I also needed to know, how do I have the fun that I need to have with it? How can I make him in the vein of a Loki character who is sympathetic and textured and not completely wrong in the way he views things,” concludes Whedon.

“The threat in the first film was of course Loki,” adds Kevin Feige. “He was very personal to Thor and he was a very powerful Asgardian. He made a deal with somebody, which allowed him to take control of the alien army, which played a big part in the fighting, but in this film we wanted the threat to be very big and as real as possible. Ultron was the right choice because he is one of the most famous villains The Avengers have ever fought against and he’s one of the most powerful. The fact that he could replicate himself, and every Ultron is actually him, is really cool. There are thousands of sub-Ultrons and he is all of them and can speak through all of them, which really was an exciting dynamic and prospect.”

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