Joss Whedon Talks Ultron, Scarlet Witch, and Ambition in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

Friday, 20 February 2015 09:25 Written by  iamrogue
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Joss Whedon Talks Ultron, Scarlet Witch, and Ambition in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

If The Avengers was all about assembling Earth's Mightiest Heroes, then this summer's Avengers: Age of Ultron is all about tearing them apart.

Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer know that Joss Whedon can put his characters through the wringer, dramatically speaking.  The writer-director behind the biggest comic book movie of all time has shed some light on the misfortune heading the Avengers' way in Age of Ultron.  Specifically, he's talking about the villain doing the wringing, the robotic bad guy Ultron, as well as new MCU players Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

Whedon, who oversaw additional photography on the sequel last month, is now hip-deep in post-production and on track to finish the next Avengers in time for its May 1st release date.

Back in the midst of production, the loquacious filmmaker talked to Empire about Round 2, revealing that he intended to use Ultron as a villain even before he signed up for The Avengers.  Played by James Spader, the robotic nightmare is actually the creation of Tony Stark, who intends for Ultron to oversee the Iron Legion, a worldwide drone force designed to help the Avengers keep the worldwide peace.  Unfortunately, Ultron has other ideas, like killing the Avengers and wiping out humanity.

"For me what was interesting is that he is this angry, and I hired the smoothest talker in Hollywood to play him," said Whedon. "I did it on purpose. I needed a guy who can give you the Morpheus but then can just LOSE HIS SHIT. Spader’s really good at that and he’s really good at finding the darkness, but also the comedy. The comedy is always a huge thing for me. Tom Hiddleston is hilarious. Hiddleston can turn on a dime, which is my favourite thing. He can be absolutely apocalyptic and then, ‘Um, point of order?’"

"Ultron has the same thing. He is very different, obviously, in his rhythms and his concepts, but for me it’s a guy who’s that angry and who hates the Avengers that much and is also a robot and is therefore going to have every issue that a robot’s going to have with humanity anyway… there’s a lot to play there. For me, he’s an iconic figure."

Whedon also acknowledged that the cinematic Ultron's powers aren't quite as expansive as his comic book counterpart's, saying, "The powers in comic books – they’re always like, ‘And then I can reverse  the polarity of your ions!’ – well, we have to ground things a lot more. With Ultron, we have to make him slightly less omnipotent because he’d win. Bottom line. Also, having weaknesses and needs and foibles and alliances and actually caring what people think of him, all these things, are what make him a character and not just a tidal wave. A movie about a tidal wave can be great, but it’s different than a conflict between one side and the other."

"When Ultron speaks, he has a point. He is really not on top of the fact that the point he’s making has nothing to do with the fact that he’s banoonoos," he continued. "And that he hates the Avengers for bringing him into this world, and he can’t really articulate that or even understand how much he hates humanity. He thinks he all that. That guy is very fun to write. He combines all the iconic stuff. The powers he has are slightly different – he can control certain things, he’s not just firing repulsers."

Ultron's not the only new threat in Avengers: Age of Ultron.  Our heroes also have to contend with superpowered siblings Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, played by Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.  Both appeared for the first time in a mid-credits sequence of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and they're rumored to be Inhumans, paving the way for 2019's Inhumans movie.

"They have an origin but it’s largely described. They’re already good to go  by the time we’re up and running," Whedon explained. "You don’t want to fall into Spider-Man 3 territory – and I say that as a guy who actually thinks pretty well of that movie, there’s some great stuff in that movie – but there comes a point where you’re overloaded with frontstory, backstory, origin story and it becomes very hard to juggle. My instinct is always, ‘Don’t put in more, work with what you have.’"

"But I insisted on putting in more in this movie because I felt I needed more villains. I needed someone for Ultron to talk to, and I need more trouble for the Avengers. As powerful as Ultron is, if he builds more Ultrons, they’re Ultrons. There’s no reason for him to ever to talk to them because they’re him," he said.

Of course, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, and Cobie Smulders are all back from the first film.

"There’s a large amount of trust with the troupe, and they were great the first time but they were taking it on faith," Whedon said. "They were like, ‘Okay, he seems to know where he’s going, so we’re going there.’ And Thor hadn’t come out, Cap hadn’t come out, and there was a certain amount of tension in the group within themselves, but this time I feel like there’s an ease and I’m trying very hard not to let that ease translate into ‘Don’t worry, we got this, we’re definitely gonna win.’

"The only reason you come to do this again after the kind of splash we made is because you think you can make a better movie. But what’s exciting to me is that I’ve been able to attack it really like a terrier, like a pitbull, like a crossbreed between a terrier and a pitbull, a Perrier, I guess you could say," the director joked.

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