Joss Whedon. Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about Avengers: Age of Ultron, which, as I’m sure you already know, comes out in a theater near you in just over two months time. Apparently, some of you are a little miffed that Whedon in his infinite wisdom decided to tweak the titular villain’s origin for the film by making him a creation of Iron Man Tony Stark as opposed to using his comic book creator Dr. Henry Pym. Well, it turns out that Whedon feels your pain. Ultron’s origins was one of many questions addressed by Whedon in an interview done during the production of the Avengers sequel.
In an interview with Empire, Whedon talked about the conundrum of Ultron’s origin, and he speaks candidly that even if he wanted to use Hank Pym, director Edgar Wright already had dibs for Ant-Man in which he’ll be played by Michael Douglas. For Whedon, it was more important for the threat of Ultron to come from within the Avengers as opposed to inserting a new “sciencetician” for the sake of continuity.
Of all the heat I’ve ever taken, not having Hank Pym was one of the bigger things. But the fact of the matter was, Edgar had him first and by virtue of what Edgar was doing, there was no way for me to use him in this. I also thought it was a bridge too far. Ultron needs to be the brainchild of the Avengers, and in the world of the Avengers and the MCU, Tony Stark is that guy. Banner has elements of that guy – we don’t really think of him as being as irresponsible as Tony Stark, but the motherfucker tested gamma radiation on himself, with really terrible, way-worse-than-Tony-Stark results.
It didn’t make sense to introduce a third scientist, a third sciencetician, to do that. It was hard for me, because I grew up on the comics, to dump that, but at the end of the day, it’s a more interesting relationship between Tony and Ultron if Tony was once like, ‘You know what would be a really great idea?’ They’re doing what they always do – which is jump in headfirst, and then go, ‘Sorry, world!’ But you have to make it their responsibility without just making it their fault.
Also on the subject of Ultron is the nature of his powers in the next Avengers. Sometimes in the comic, Ultron’s powers border on the omniscient, like that time in The Mighty Avengers when he was able to take over Tony Stark’s Extremis enhanced suit and hijack his body and armor to create a new female Ultron body. Yeah, Whedon’s Ultron will be a bit more down to Earth.
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. 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 repulsors.
Finally, Whedon talked about the movies hench-villains, Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). According to the director, the movie won’t marinate too much on the twins’ origins, but they do serve an important function in the story by giving Ultron someone to talk to that isn’t another version of himself.
They have an origin but it’s largely described. They’re already good to go by the time we’re up and running. 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. ‘I need you to – I KNOW! I AM TOTALLY YOU! I DID IT EARLIER! I know that because I am also me.’ That’s not a good conversation. Actually, it sounded pretty good there. I think I’m onto something.
We’ll see if Whedon truly was onto something when Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out in theaters everywhere on May 1.
Source: The Mary Sue