Joss Whedon found his Ultron! And no, it’s probably not whom you were expecting.
The Wrap reports that James Spader (Pretty in Pink, Secretary, NBC’s The Office) has been cast as the maniacal robot hell-bent on destroying the Avengers in the planned sequel Age of Ultron. The title was announced at Comic-Con in July, and the screenwriting process is underway. Most of the original team will be back – from Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. to Chris Hemsworth. Ultron will make his debut… though we don’t really know is what form. The robot, in the comic, was the creation of Dr. Hank Pym. Whedon has said he’ll alter the origin of the classic Marvel villain, though in what way remains unclear.
Are you scratching your head over the hiring of Spader? You shouldn’t be. From what we can determine, Whedon mainly will use the actor’s voice for a metal suit that will have intelligence and a voice… think Paul Bettany voicing JARVIS for the Iron Man movies.
Plus, it makes for an amazing Less Than Zero reunion, which we never believed could actually happen.
All Ultron wants is for Tony Stark to give him his $50K: http://t.co/urTtznff6c— Anthony Breznican (@Breznican) August 29, 2013
At the same time, superhero movies often think outside of the box when it comes to casting villains. It doesn’t always work, but going “strange” can at least pique a fan base’s interests. I don’t think Spader as Ultron is any more bizarre than these five superhero casting choices, all of which still have me wondering what the directors were thinking:
1. Topher Grace, Spider-Man 3 (2007)
This list can stop right there, honestly. No one was more miscast than Grace as Venom. But five’s a nice, round number, so we’ll also single out:
2. John Travolta, The Punisher (2004)
3. Colin Farrell, Daredevil (2003)
4. Nick Nolte, Hulk (2003)
5. Julian McMahon, Fantastic Four (2005)
That’s a terrible stretch of years, from 2003-'07. Thankfully, the genre got back on track, leading to what amounts to a Golden Age at the moment. Will it continue with The Avengers: Age of Ultron? Find out in 2015.