Ladies and gentleman we’re now only a few short weeks away from the release of Avengers Age of Ultron. I don’t know about you, but I’m super pumped to finally see it. The first part was arguably the best superhero movie of 2012 and we can expect the sequel to be just as impressive (if not even more so) judging by the plethora of trailers we’ve seen so far. Although the cast of the original film was nothing short of amazing, Marvel is going all out with Avengers Age of Ultron and have added even more characters to the mix, both heroes and villains. So many characters in fact, that it may be hard to keep track of the full line-up, which is why I figured that a quick summary of the full cast of characters might come in handy to some.
Iron Man: Robert Downey Jr. returns in yet another movie in which he plays the already iconic Iron Man/Tony Stark. If you’ve seen any of the Iron Man movies or the original Avengers then you already know what to expect from him in Avengers Age of Ultron. Having said that, also expect Tony Stark to be just a little less confident and arrogant than usual given that he’s the one who created Ultron, aka the advanced AI that’s trying to kill everybody. Also, his relationship with some of the other Avengers (especially Cap) is starting to deteriorate very fast. Joining Iron Man from his own movie series will be War Machine and J.A.R.V.I.S (but more on him later).
Captain America: Although initially one of the least interesting Avengers to non-US folks, Steve Rogers/Captain America has become increasingly more badass with each passing movie. In Avengers Age of Ultron he’s going to be played by the same Chris Evans and seems to be the new leader of the Avengers following Iron Man’s fall from grace. Cap’s fighting style and shield throwing abilities seem to have improved even more in Avengers Age of Ultron, so expect him to punch and kick robots all over the place. In addition, he’s even seen moving Thor’s hammer just a little bit, which means that Steve Rogers is becoming the worthiest human there is (whatever that means). Captain America is also bringing a few people from his own movie series, including Falcon and Peggy Carter.
Thor: Chris Hemsworth’s Thor chose to stay on Earth at the end of The Dark World and that was certainly a great decision because the team will need him now more than ever. The Avengers Age of Ultron trailers weren’t particularly focused on this character, but we can only assume that he will play a very important part in the movie given that he’s technically Earth’s godly guardian now. Thor is bringing quite a few characters from his own series into Avengers Age of Ultron, including Heimdall, Erik Selving and even Loki. No Natalie Portman I’m afraid, but Thor is unlikely to feel lonely in the movie even without her thanks to all the other familiar faces.
The Hulk: Mark Ruffalo also returns as the Hulk/Bruce Banner in Avengers Age of Ultron, along with some actual character development this time around. Seeing as how the trailers depict a fight between him and Iron Man at one point, it’s pretty easy to conclude that Bruce Banner is still not on friendly terms with everyone when he turns into the Hulk. We’re not sure what they’re fighting about, but the Hulk vs Hulkbuster armor is expected to be one of the most epic scenes of the entire movies, so I guess it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. What matters is that CGI has improved a bit since 2012, which means that the Hulk will look even more realistic in Avengers Age of Ultron (not that the original version was bad or anything). Also, Lou Ferrigno (of 1978’s The Incredible Hulk fame) is voicing Hulk again. Just thought I’d point that out.
Black Widow: Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow is bringing new toys to the table in Avengers Age of Ultron. She didn’t really have a lot to work with in the previous movies except for guns and punches/kicks, but thanks to some new gadgets provided by Tony Stark she will now be an even more valuable asset to the team. Black Widow is not only receiving new weapons, but also some much needed backstory and character development, which is always nice to see. What’s more, it seems that she may or may not have a romantic relationship with Bruce Banner, although this is mostly speculation at this point and not officially confirmed. We’ll just have to wait until next month to find out I guess.
Hawkeye: Similar to Black Widow, Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton/Hawkeye is also receiving some much needed upgrades. These include not only various types of new arrows, but also a brand new uniform that’s a bit more eye-catching than the rather boring costume he wore in the original film. Sadly, Hawkeye seems to be the most pessimistic of our heroes in Avengers Age of Ultron, but that’s not very surprising as he, himself points out: “we’re fighting an army of robots and I have a bow and arrow.” He does a point there. Well, at least you have some better arrows this time, so I’m sure you’ll do just fine Hawkeye.
Quicksilver/Scarlet Witch: Avengers Age of Ultron will introduce Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen as the (Wanda and Pietro) Maximoff twins. Fun fact: they’re Magneto’s children. Unfortunately, we’re not likely to see an Avengers/X-Men crossover anytime soon, but at least we get to see two mutants joining the Avengers next month. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were first seen in the Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s post-credits scene and will initially join Ultron before ultimately being recruited by the Avengers. Both characters bring even more badassery and superhuman powers to the table, so expect to see some pretty epic fighting scenes involving them.
The Vision: Paul Bettany’s J.A.R.V.I.S. is finally becoming 3D in Avengers Age of Ultron as he takes an improved form known as Vision. The Vision is similar to Ultron in the sense that he’s also an artificial intelligence robot created by Tony Stark, but luckily Paul Bettany continues to play as one of the good guys. We don’t know a whole lot about the Vision as we only saw a brief glimpse of him in one of the trailers, but he’ll probably play a very important part in combating the threat posed by Ultron judging by his impressive powers. What we can say for certain is that he seems to be very faithful to his comic book version, so we can rest assured knowing that Avengers Age of Ultron will do him justice.
Ultron: As you might have guessed, the titular robot will be the main antagonist in Avengers Age of Ultron and a very powerful one at that. Ultron is being played by James Spader, an actor who must look convincing as he rebels against Iron Man, gathers an army of robots and tries to destroy all of humanity along with the Avengers. Needless to say, this is not an easy role for anyone to play. Despite all of this, director Joss Weldon says that Spader was his “first and only choice” for the role of Ultron, mainly because of his unique voice. In recent years we’ve seen a number of villains becoming more popular than the heroes they were fighting against and I wouldn’t be surprised if Spader’s Ultron would also join the club following Avengers Age of Ultron.
Aside from all of these characters, Avengers Age of Ultron will also feature the likes of Samuel L. Jackson as former S.H.I.E.L.D. boss Nick Fury, Thomas Kretschmann as Hydra supervillain Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue (better known as Klaw, one of Black Panther’s main enemies), and of course, the absolutely mandatory Stan Lee cameo will be there as well. Serkis’ involvement in Avengers Age of Ultron will be minimal, but his character will set the stage for the upcoming Black Panther movie, which is scheduled to be part of Marvel’s Phase Three. Rumor has it that we might also see a Spiderman easter egg now that Sony and Marvel have agreed to work together on some projects, however, the partnership was announced after Avengers Age of Ultron finished filming, so the chances are pretty slim if you ask me. Still, a bit of wishful thinking doesn’t hurt.
Avengers Age of Ultron is scheduled to hit the theaters on May 1st in North America.