The release of Avengers: Age of Ultron may be nearly a year away, but that doesn’t mean that excitement for the Joss Whedon-directed Marvel sequel isn’t already at something resembling a fever pitch. Wait, no, that’s just the sound of Marvel fans presumably already lining up for the studio’s Comic-Con presentation. Hope you brought your best air mattress, guys.
In anticipation of both the film itself and the sure-to-be-massive Marvel presentation, Entertainment Weekly has spent the past few days teasing fans with details from its newest issue, one that’s covered (literally) with Age of Ultron and that contains a bevy of Comic-Con information for fans to enjoy. The new issue is crammed with a ton of information about the film — including some compelling insights into characters both new and old, some tantalizing little tidbits about its plot, and plenty of new pictures — but we’ve distilled down the basics, in case you’re just really busy or something?
If you haven’t checked your mail yet, or the idea of getting over to a bookstore or newsstand seems too complicated to comprehend right now (it’s Friday, you’re tired), we’ve gathered every bit of Avengers goodness to hit the web this week, thanks to Entertainment Weekly’s massive Comic-Con issue (a double!). Feel like picking this one up now? Yeah, you probably should.
On the Avengers’ mental state: As star Robert Downey Jr. puts it, “The downside of self-sacrifice is that if you make it back, you’ve been out there on the spit and you’ve been turned a couple times and you feel a little burned and traumatized.”
On the creation of Ultron: Apparently, the creation of Ultron (by Tony Stark!) is part of plan to keep him out of the Iron Man suit (trauma, remember?) and to give the rest of the team some rest time. “His solution is Ultron, self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence designed to help assess threats, and direct Stark’s Iron Legion of drones to battle evildoers instead. The only problem? Ultron (played by James Spader through performance-capture technology) lacks the human touch, and his superior intellect quickly determines that life on Earth would go a lot smoother if he just got rid of Public Enemy No. 1: Human beings.”
On Ultron’s motives: Whedon says, “Ultron sees the big picture and he goes, ‘Okay, we need radical change, which will be violent and appalling, in order to make everything better’; he’s not just going ‘Muhaha, soon I’ll rule!’…He’s on a mission. He wants to save us.”
On Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and The Vision’s allegiances: “They’re on Team Ultron, which makes things really hard for the Avengers because all of sudden they’re dealing with powers that they’re not used to,” says Whedon. Oops.
On what this new world will look and feel like: Whedon basically says that it’s just weird. “With the [first] Avengers, everybody pretty much had the power of being able to punch somebody. And now we have a woman who can get inside your head and move objects, and a boy that can move faster than anything, and a robot [Ultron] who can self-replicate and is out of his mind. So all of sudden, it’s a darker, weirder, tougher world that they’re living in,” the director shared.
On the twins’ backstory:”For one, no mention is made in Avengers of Magneto (the twins’ father) or their ‘mutant’ abilities, which are part of the comic-book company’s X-Men licensing deal to Fox.” Aaron Taylor-Johnson adds, “They’re gypsies in a way. They’re romani. They’re sort of like travelers.” The pair are also orphans who “harbor a secret grudge against the Avengers.” Yow.
On Quicksilver: He’s kind of a hothead! Taylor-Johnson says, “There’s a lot of clashing. He’s quick tempered. He gets agitated. He’s impatient. But he’s super protective.”
On Scarlet Witch: Elizabeth Olsen explains what’s up with her character — heads up, it’s a lot — as such: “The reason she’s so special is because she has such a vast amount of knowledge that she’s unable to learn how to control it…No one taught her how to control it properly. So it gets the best of her. It’s not that she’s mentally insane, it’s just that she’s just overly stimulated. And she can connect to this world and parallel worlds at the same time, and parallel times.”
On the twins’ bond: As Taylor-Johnson shares, “They’re very yin-and-yang in that twin sense. In his power, he’s physical and she’s psychological. My character is very much on the frontline, but he can be quite emotional. You see this beautiful tenderness between them…Emotionally, she can stabilize him, and he protects her physically, vice-versa. So they have this beautiful connection and it’s kind of them against the world.”
On the twins’ other bond: And there’s more! Apparently, “there’s a hint of uncomfortable closeness between the brother and sister. It’s a mainstream action film, so don’t expect any major taboos to be broken. But…there may be creepy little allusions.” As Olsen shares, “In the comics, every time you see an image of them, they’re always holding each other’s hand and looking over each other’s shoulder…They’re always so close, it’s almost uncomfortable. Aaron and I have been playing a little bit with those kinds of images just for ourselves.”
On The Vision: Played by Paul Bettany, it’s no coincidence that the actor has already starred in the Marvel films as the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S. No, really, even Whedon says so: “It’s not coincidence. And I’m not going to tell you any more about The Vision.”
This week’s Entertainment Weekly is on stands, well, right now. Marvel’s Comic-Con presentation, which will undoubtedly be filled with more big reveals, will take place this Saturday in San Diego from 5:30 to 6:30PM PST.
Avengers: Age of Ultron will open on May 1, 2015. [Entertainment Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, Entertainment Weekly]