Actor James Spader has reportedly signed on to portray supervillain robot Ultron in Joss Whedon’s upcoming superhero sequel “The Avengers 2.”
Ultron will be the chief villain in the “The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron,” which is slated to hit theatres on May 1, 2015, according to Marvel press release. Ultron will face off against Iron Man, Thor, and the rest of The Avengers.
While Whedon has yet to reveal how he’ll handle Ultron’s origin story, the sentient robot’s list of powers will make it one of the most deadly obstacles ever encountered by the Avengers. According to Marvel’s website, Ultron possesses superhuman strength, agility, a transcendent intellect, the ability to fly, and the use of a so-called “encephalo-ray,” which can put his adversaries in a coma. Entertainment Weekly also notes that Ultron has “rage toward his creators and longing to generate his own spawn.”
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, “Avengers 2” director Joss Whedon discussed the motivations behind the character of Ultron, as well as the manner in which the super-bot will be portrayed in the film world. For example, Whedon revealed that he plans on “[taking] away some of [Ultron’s] powers” to make the robot more relatable.
“I knew right away what I wanted to do with him,” Whedon told Entertainment Weekly. “He’s always trying to destroy the Avengers, goddamn it, he’s got a bee in his bonnet. He’s not a happy guy, which means he’s an interesting guy. He’s got pain. And the way that manifests is not going to be standard robot stuff. So we’ll take away some of those powers because at some point everybody becomes magic, and I already have someone [a new character, Scarlet Witch] who’s a witch.”
Spader earned critical acclaim for his portrayal of Alan Shore in the television dramas “Boston Legal” and “The Practice,” Marvel’s press release notes. The 53-year-old earned three Emmy awards for that performance. In addition, Spader recently had minor role in Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed historical drama “Lincoln.”
Even with the addition of Ultron, “The Avengers 2” may have a hard time emulating the success of its predecessor. Released in 2012, “Marvel’s The Avengers” earned $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office, and is currently the third-highest grossing film of all time.