Probably the most anticipated superhero film of next year, now that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice got pushed back to 2016. The culmination of Marvel's "Phase II," that began with Iron Man 3 just over a year ago. Once again, the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes crashing together to face a threat that no hero can face alone.
The trailer was originally supposed to premiere next Tuesday, during Marvel's TV incarnation Agents of SHIELD. However, when the trailer got leaked on Wednesday evening, Marvel shrugged and said, "Well, I guess we may as well release the trailer early."
The entire gang is back from the first film and most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor, Chris Evans is back as Captain America, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Scarlett Johannson as Black Widow, and Mark Rufalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk. Also joining the Avengers this time out is Don Cheadle as War Machine.
We get some new heroes joining the team, too. Aaron-Taylor Johnson, last seen battling Godzilla in Godzilla, is Quicksilver, and Elizabeth Olsen, last seen playing Johnson's wife in Godzilla, is his brother The Scarlett Witch.
Now, you may be thinking, "Wait a minute. I saw Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past, so isn't Quicksilver an X-Men character, meaning Marvel can't use him?" Well, yes. But Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch have always been more widely known as Avengers and not Magneto's offspring. So, Marvel and Fox made a handshake arrangement. Marvel can use Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch as long as
a) Marvel doesn't mention they're mutants
b) Marvel doesn't mention that Magneto's their father.
Based on their first appearance in the post-credits sequence for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the speculation is, rather than mutants, their powers will be the results of HYDRA experiments.
Also joining the team is Paul Bettany as the android Avenger the Vision. Since Paul Bettany has done the voice of JARVIS, Tony Stark's AI, in all the Iron Man films and the previous Avengers, the speculation is that Vision's movie origin will turn him into an android built by Tony Stark and given life by some new upgrade of JARVIS.
And what villain is so mighty that the Avengers are almost destroyed doing battle with him? Well, that would be the killer android Ultron, played by James Spader through the miracle of performance capture. In the original comics, Ultron was a creation of Ant-Man, before turning evil. For the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it looks like Ultron will be a creation of Tony Stark's.
The plot, as I've cobbled together online over the past few months, is thus. Following the dissolution of SHIELD in the wake of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Avengers have been working overtime to fill the void. With SHIELD no more, the Avengers are now bankrolled by Stark Enterprises. In order to help out, Stark builds an android army he calls "the Iron Legion." Of course, it's just a matter of time before this android army grows sentient and becomes Ultron. Then, in pure killer robot fashion. Ultron figures the best way to save the world is to destroy it and remake it in his own image.
Wow. The first Avengers looked pretty darn big, but this actually looks bigger.
We don't get much of a glimpse of Quicksilver or Scarlet Witch and their abilities. I'm really curious about how Quicksilver is portrayed, and how they differentiate him from the Quicksilver we saw in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
And I'm still geeking out about the Hulkbuster armor. For those who don't know, the Hulkbuster is Iron Man's armor that makes him as big as and as strong as the Hulk for they ever have to battle. And dude, it looks like they do battle.
Everyone's raving about how the background music is a creepy version of I've Got Not Strings from Pinocchio, making folks wonder how this is going to be some kind of creepy Pinocchio tale.
Everything about this just looks good. Joss Whedon is back writing and directing, and it looks like he's going to knock it out of the park again.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theatres on May 1, 2015.