Try and you shall succeed. But try and stop us from talking about Marvel‘s upcoming superhero film, “Avengers: Age of Ultron“? Well, that ain’t going to happen, unless you know everything about this movie as well.
You see, it’s not just the star-studded cast that makes us want to watch this superhero film; it’s the way the studio built the Marvel Cinematic Universe by connecting all the dots from its past, current, and upcoming superhero films and TV series. In addition, the amount of trailers and exclusive clips that the studio has released in the past few months are a sure sign that it is one of the most highly anticipated films in 2015.
Written and directed by Joss Whedon and produced by Kevin Feige, the movie is slated for release in Malaysia on 23rd April 2015.
The official synopsis of the film is as follows:
Marvel Studios presents “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.
Robert Downey Jr. returns the film to reprise his role as Iron Man while Chris Evans is portraying Captain America. Evans’ Captain America will be coordinating the team that consists of Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, and Mark Ruffalo’s The Hulk.
Whether you’re a Marvel fan or not, here are some of the things you should know about “Avengers: Age of Ultron”:
(This article contain potential spoilers, so read it at your own risk)
1. A total of 3 stunt doubles were hired for Scarlet Johansson as she was pregnant during filming
Scarlett Johansson, who played Black Widow in the movie, gave birth to her first child with husband Romain Dauriac in September 2014. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that she was already pregnant when they were promoting Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier“.
Thus, the actress remained relatively out of the spotlight as the studio hired 3 stunt doubles on hand to step in whenever the action got too intense. According to Chris Evans, all the stunt doubles looked so similar to Johansson that he thought he was talking to the real ScarJo.
2. Captain Marvel had a cameo in early drafts of the script
Marvel’s first female-driven movie “Captain Marvel” will only hit the big screen on 2nd November 2018. However, the studio already planned to include her cameo appearance in other films. In fact, the character was originally scheduled to appear in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” as well!
According to Badass Digest, the character was included in the early draft of the script and director Joss Whedon shot visual FX plates to have Captain Marvel fly into the Avengers HQ at the end of the movie. However, the idea was ditched by the studio as Feige said the rushed introduction may affect the potential impact of the character.
He further revealed, “The way we reveal Scarlet Witch (in costume) at the end of the movie? Those were Captain Marvel plate shots.”
3. The mystery woman featured in the trailer will not appear in the movie
When the studio released the 2nd trailer of “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, tonnes of new footage were featured in it. One of the scenes showed a mysterious woman who was disrobing beside a pool of water in a cave. Fans speculated the woman would be a significant character as she could be related to the titular character of Marvel’s “Black Panther“.
However, it was revealed that she will not appear in the final cut of the movie at all. Her scene has been deleted because the director cut the film from being 3 and a half hours long to 142 minutes for theatrical release.
Feige told Cinema Blend, “That was just interesting imagery as part of a dream sequence… It was part of when Thor was looking around at the oddity and the strangeness happening, and it was just an image marketing grabbed.”
The deleted scene will most probably be included in the film when the Blu-ray comes out,
4. Klaw, the villain from Marvel’s “Black Panther” will appear
One of the major villains, who commonly pitted against the titular character of the “Black Panther” solo movie, will be featured in “Avengers: Age of Ultron”. Just like the mysterious woman, he was featured in the 2nd trailer of the film. Best known for portraying Gollum in the “Lord of the Ring” franchise, Andy Serkis will portray the said character, Ulysses Klaw.
Similar to Captain America’s shield, Ultron was made out of Vibranium, a powerful metal that can only be found in the fictional African country of Wakanda. Ultron will most likely cross path with Klaw as both Panther and himself lived in the country of Wakanda. Serkis’ role will be relatively small in the film, but it will help set his character up in the “Black Panther” solo movie.
5. James Spader was the director’s first and only choice for the role of Ultron
Whedon stated in an interview with Lorraine Cink from Marvel’s “The Watcher” that James Spader was the first and only actor he considered for the role of Ultron. He described that Spader has a “hypnotic voice that can be eerily calm and compelling while also being very human and humorous”.
Instead of speaking with an accent, Spader used his natural speaking voice for the role. His impressive performance even received cheers and applauds from the cast after his first take on his first day on set. Since Ultron was described as 8-9 feet tall, the actor had to wear a costume that consists of an antennae-like contraption made out of a thick piece of wire and 2 red balls that represented the placement of Ultron’s eyes. The balls were attached to the top that went up his entire back and 3 feet above his head.
Elizabeth Olsen, who portrays Scarlet Witch in the film, admitted she was often distracted by his intense performance that her “Godzilla” co-star Aaron Taylor-Johnson would yell, “Red balls! Look at his balls, Lizzie!” at her in order to get her to look in the right direction.
6. It took almost a year for the director to convince Aaron-Taylor Johnson to play Quicksilver
Whedon spent nearly a year trying to get Aaron Taylor-Johnson to play Quicksilver. The latter revealed that he was concerned over the studio’s intensity contracts and its time constraints. He ultimately agreed to join after learning that Olsen would portray her onscreen twin sister.
In addition, Quicksilver’s appearance in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” has been surrounded by controversy from the beginning as he was supposed to appear in “X-Men: The Last Stand” and the first “Avengers” film. Both Marvel and Fox faced licensing complexities, resulting in Quicksilver’s omission from both films. They formed a resolution by announcing that Quicksilver would appear in both movies under certain circumstances:
- No allusion to his relations to the X-Men or Magneto (the character’s father) can be made in an Avengers film
- No reference to Quicksilver’s membership in the Avengers can be made in an X-Men film
- The character cannot be referred to as a mutant in any Marvel film.
Thus, Taylor-Johnson’s “Kick-Ass” co-star Evan Peters, who portrayed Quicksilver in Bryan Singer’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, would not be featured in the “Avengers” franchise.
7. Someone will die?
Entertainment Weekly revealed that someone very important will not make it out of the sequel alive.
The rumours, which originated from a Bleeding Cool report, suggested that a character will die protecting an Avenger. There are conflicting reports making rounds on the Internet and many theories regarding the surprise death have surfaced online. Whether or not the character will make it out alive, the mystery will only be solved if you’re going to watch the movie.
8. Saiorse Ronan was once considered to play Scarlet Witch
Before Elizabeth Olsen joined the cast as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, it was revealed that Marvel used “The Lovely Bones” star Saoirse Ronan as the “prototype” for Whedon’s version of the character.
Ronan expressed an interest in the role, but The Hollywood Reporter stated that she had passed on the offer and reported that Olsen entered negotiations to play the character instead.
9. In the comics, Ultron is created by Dr Hank Pym a.k.a Ant-Man
In the comics, Ultron is created by Dr Hank Pym a.k.a the original Ant-Man. However, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner are the ones who created Ultron in the movie.
Pym will get his own separate story in the “Ant-Man” solo movie.
10. The Vision was created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner in the film
Paul Bettany, who voiced Tony Stark’s artificial intelligence program J.A.R.V.I.S., will portray a new character called the Vision. In the movie, he was created by Stark and Bruce Banner, which also explains his colour combination of red, green, and golden. Red and golden are the combinations of Tony Stark’s Iron Man armour and green is the colour of Hulk.
However, the comic books showed that the Vision was created by Ant-Man‘s Ultron to fight against the Avengers. He later betrayed his own creator and helped the Avengers destroy Ultron instead. Since then, the Vision has become one of the Avengers and was later rebuilt by Tony Stark himself.
According to Bettany, there’s a lot of distrust that has to be navigated by the Vision to make sure that the Avengers feel safe to have him around as their ally. Is he good or evil? That’s for us to find out in the movie.
11. No post-credit scene, but Stan Lee will make a cameo
Whedon confirmed that the film does not have a post-credit scene, citing that the end-credit shot couldn’t top the post-battle shawarma scene from the first “Avengers” film.
It didn’t seem to lend itself in the same way, and we wanted to be true to what felt right. The first rule of making a sequel is take the best moments and do something else. Don’t do the “Indiana Jones” gun trick again differently. Just go somewhere else. Don’t try to hit the same highs, because people will sense it. We all came at it separately – we don’t want to chase that. That was a jewel and a weird little quirk.
There is nothing at the very end. And that’s not a fake-out. We want people to know so they don’t sit there for 10 minutes and then go, “Son of a b*tch! I’ll kill them!”
However, Feige noted that a short, epilogue-like scene will pop up shortly after the credits start. In fact, during the Salt Lake Comic-Con, Stan Lee revealed that he will make a cameo in the film and it is his favourite cameo so far.
12. The storyline is not based on the 2013 Marvel comic series of the same name
The movie was named after a 2013 Marvel comic series “Age of Ultron”. However, Feige said that its storyline will not used in the film.
We came up with a few titles, but every month a new comic book appears, and “Age Of Ultron” is a great title. We had a few other “of Ultrons”, but that was the best one. So we’re borrowing that title, but taking storylines from decades of Avengers storylines.
13. According to Idris Elba, he will appear as Heimdall again
Idris Elba starred in the “Thor” franchise as Heimdall, the guard of Asgard. He revealed in an interview with Telegraph that he filmed a scene with Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hidldeston in “Avengers: Age of Ultron”.
He wasn’t meant to talk about it, but revealed it nonetheless:
I’m in Avengers. And I’m doing a scene with Chris Hemsworth (who plays Thor) and Tom Hiddleston (who plays Loki), and they’re like, (whispers) – “Aren’t you (meant to be) in Ibiza?”
However, Entertainment Weekly revealed that they only saw a vision of Elba’s Heimdall. In fact, Hiddleston himself confirmed to EW that he will not appear in the final cut.
He’s not in it. Here’s the thing: I don’t think there’s anything else Loki could contribute to ‘The Avengers,’ narratively. Joss gave me so many wonderful things to do in that 1rst film that we’d only be trying to repeat ourselves, and probably less well in the 2nd one.
14. Julie Delpy and Linda Cardellini have secret roles in the movie
A number of mysterious women were featured in the trailers of the movie, including Korean actress Claudia Kim who was spotted hanging out with the team in the Avengers HQ. Linda Cardellini and Julia Delpy were also featured, but their identities are being kept as a surprise.
EW revealed that they won’t be playing major superheroes from the comic book universe, but they will turn out to be some very meaningful supporting characters.
15. The most VFX shots for a Marvel movie
This movie has over 3000 VFX shots, which is the most VFX shots for any Marvel movie to date. It is followed closely by “Guardians of the Galaxy”, which held the record for having 2,750 VFX shots.
It will be the last time the current Avengers cast will be seen together as the team members may change in the upcoming Marvel films. Thus, a “never-before-seen” character will be introduced in the movie.
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