We all knew it was coming. After “The Avengers” dominated the box office last year, it was all but assured that Marvel Studios would quickly push out a sequel to its blockbuster superhero team-up film. Now we know exactly what the 2015 flick will be called -- “Avengers: Age of Ultron” -- thanks to the Marvel panel at Comic-Con International: San Diego Saturday, according to MTV News.
The title may come as a bit of a surprise to some fans. At the end of “The Avengers,” fans caught a glimpse of intergalactic supervillain Thanos, and many assumed he would be the big bad guy in the next “Avengers” movie. However, it appears Thanos will show up in 2014’s spacefaring epic “Guardians of the Galaxy,” while “Avengers: Age of Ultron” will feature the genocidal robot Ultron.
Oddly enough for fans of Marvel comics, however, it seems “Avengers: Age of Ultron” will be missing one classic character: Hank Pym, Ultron’s creator. In the comics, Hank Pym (also known by his superhero names such as Ant-Man, Giant-Man and Yellowjacket) used his own brain waves to create the artificial intelligence Ultron, who went on to become one of the Avengers’ greatest foes.
Pym is so important to the Ultron mythos, in fact, that in the “Age of Ultron” comic series on which the film is based, a team of superheroes from a post-apocalyptic future go back in time to kill him, thus ensuring Ultron would never be created (it all gets very complicated here). Despite Pym’s importance in the comics, he likely won’t appear in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
In an interview with Gawker Media publication io9, Joss Whedon, director of “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” contended the flick doesn’t necessarily have to feature Hank Pym to make sense: “We don’t have to have him. It works very simply -- this is Marvel cinema, not Marvel comics. One thing [Marvel Studios head] Kevin Feige has a genius for is knowing what to hold onto and what to let go of. You can invoke the feeling you had and play with the characters you love and remain true to the needs of the film.” Ultimately, Whedon said, “You don’t need a Pym to create an Ultron.”
However, this doesn’t mean that Pym won’t be appearing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Shaun of the Dead” director Edgar Wright has already been confirmed as the director of 2015’s “Ant-Man,” which will follow Pym as a superhero with the ability to shrink down to the size of, well, an ant. It just appears that, in this universe, Pym won’t be the father of a mass-murdering robot, which will likely do wonders for his PR.
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” is set to hit theaters in the summer of 2015.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.