What We Know About "Age Of Ultron"
When the second trailer for Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron was released, it's safe to say that the hype cycle truly began. 2012's The Avengers was one of the most popular and highest-grossing films of the century so far, as director Joss Whedon pulled off the impressive feat of combining multiple franchise heroes in a cohesive and enjoyable story. This year's sequel seeks to build on that success and will in all likelihood become the second biggest film of 2015. In most any other year it would be #1, but we're guessing Star Wars: The Force Awakens will have something to say about that.
(Film: Avengers - Age Of Ultron)
To cover film locations first, it's worth noting that Age Of Ultron will apparently not bring Marvel's heroes back to New York. The city was actually a major part of The Avengers, as it was essentially the battleground for the final showdown with intergalactic villains. Also, even in the Marvel films that have come out since 2012, the characters make references to the battle, such as saying things have been different "since New York." According to IMDB, however, the Big Apple is not among the filming locations used for the sequel. It appears that the bulk of the set locations are in England, Italy, and South Korea, though of course these days one need not actually be somewhere to set a scene there. New York could still be worked in via flashback or CGI.
As for the content of the film, it looks as if there will once again be a great deal of character focus, which is wise given the incredible reach of Marvel's heroes on modern culture. Not only does each of the core Avengers characters carry its own film franchise, but these days the group is thought of together more often than separate. This development is perhaps clearest in the gaming industry, where the Avengers as a team exert a great deal of influence. The recently released app Marvel: Contest Of Champions uses the whole crew as part of a fighting app featuring a huge range of Marvel characters. And online, you can find images and characterizations of Avengers heroes dominating casino arcades. This is evident on the betfair casino, where each Avenger has his own game and there's a game featuring the entire team. The bottom line is, the characters are the biggest draw in this franchise, used in gaming to attract players and emphasized in film to appease audiences.
And judging by the trailers, it's all about character yet again. We see images of Thor challenging Tony Stark, a giant Iron Man battling the Hulk, and various other interactions that will likely serve as the core of the film's intrigue regardless of the greater plot and situations.
We also know from trailers and news releases that two new heroes will be added to the ranks of the Avengers, though likely in a capacity more similar to Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow or Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye than the main heroes. According to Hollywood Life, these heroes are Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, respectively. Whedon has implied that these two could have a significant impact on the direction of the film, and Quicksilver is particularly interesting because he already appeared in X-Men: Days Of Future Past (though the part was played by Evan Peters), providing the first tangible link between the franchises.
And then, of course, there are the villains to consider. By now most fans will be familiar with the fact that Ultron—a sort of artificially intelligent super-being—will be the primary antagonist, with the role being voiced by James Spader (whose narration highlights both trailers). Ultron's exact role is unknown, though the character's range of powers is nearly endless and the trailers imply that mind control will be among the abilities featured most prominently. It's hinted at that Ultron will seek to destroy the Avengers "from the inside out," as Spader voices, perhaps seeking to corrupt them against one another. However, Ultron isn't the only villain we'll see in the upcoming film. According to Screenrant, German actor Thomas Kretschmann quietly filmed a secondary villain role: Wolfgang von Strucker, a Nazi officer-turned-Hydra leader who sprouts from the Captain America backstory.
Plot-wise, we know shockingly little considering how close the release is. Evidently, in the aftermath of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s collapse, Stark will attempt to keep the Avengers team afloat through his own means. Meanwhile, the challenge of Ultron will threaten to bring the world to its knees. That's not much in the way of detail, but again, Marvel is operating with the luxury of having established four incredibly popular primary characters—and their interactions will carry just about any plot line at this point.
Submitted by Miles Templeman
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