Who’s Who In Avengers: Age of Ultron?
Even for the most well-versed geek, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) can feel overwhelming due to the sheer number of characters one must consider when pondering the past, present, and future of the franchise. Super-producer Kevin Feige announces a new project for the MCU seemingly every week. This shared universe has even jumped into other mediums; both Agent Carter and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D have generated solid ratings for ABC, while Netflix has signed on for FIVE Marvel series (including Daredevil, starring Boardwalk Empire’s Charlie Cox in the title role, which will premiere on April 10th).
With Disney as the distributor, Marvel Studios has nine films in various stages of development, many of which will introduce even more characters (including the great Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange and the great Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther). 2012’s The Avengers was the first film to really tie this universe together, and the gang is back with some new friends for the sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron.
So who is going to actually appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron? A plethora of returning characters and new faces have been rumored at various points in time and some are now confirmed. As always, you can probably expect a few surprise appearances as well. I’ll run through whom you can expect to see in the film.
Returning from The Avengers
The main cast is all back for the sequel. Robert Downey Jr. returns as your friendly neighborhood genius-billionaire-playboy-philanthropist Tony Stark/Iron Man, and he’ll team up with his buddies Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Although S.H.I.E.L.D. was more or less destroyed in Captain America: The Winter Solider; Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Agent Hill (Cobie Smudlers) will join our favorite superheros. Smulders, Johansson, and Renner have all hinted at the deeper exploration of their characters in Age of Ultron, while Jackson told Yahoo! last year that his role is more of a cameo. After Iron Man, Jackson signed a nine-film deal to appear as Nick Fury. Age of Ultron will be appearance number six for him.
|Returning From The Avengers for Avengers: Age of Ultron|
|Character||Portrayed By||Appeared in MCU via|
|Tony Stark aka Iron Man||Robert Downey Jr.||Iron Man 1-3, The Avengers|
|Steve Rogers aka Captain America||Chris Evans||Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers|
|Thor||Chris Hemsworth||Thor, Thor: The Dark World, The Avengers|
|Bruce Banner aka The Hulk||Mark Ruffalo||The Incredicle Hulk (Edward Norton), The Avengers|
|Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow||Scarlett Johansson||Iron Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers|
|Clint Barton aka Hawkeye||Jeremy Renner||Thor, The Avengers|
|Maria Hill||Cobie Smulders||Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers|
|Eric Selvig||Stellan Skarsgard||Thor, Thor: The Dark World, The Avengers|
|Nick Fury||Samuel L. Jackson||Basically everywhere|
|Loki||Tom Hiddleston||Thor, Thor: The Dark World, The Avengers|
Downey’s involvement was once in question due to him holding out for a higher salary, but a deal was reached. He reportedly earned $60 million from Iron Man 3 when factoring in gross points on top of his salary. If Avengers: Age of Ultron does as well as many expect, Downey could end up earning close to $100 million from the film.
Stellan Skarsgard will reprise his role as Dr. Erik Selvig while Tom Hiddleston, despite director Joss Whedon’s original comments, will be in Age of Ultron as Loki. You already know all of these names, so not much speculation or background is needed.
Other established MCU characters set to appear
A poster reveal confirmed that a few more characters with whom we’re familiar will be in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Don Cheadle will be around as Col. Rhodes aka War Machine, a role he played in the second and third Iron Man films after replacing Terrence Howard. The MCU introduced Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie, in Captain America: The Winter Solider. He’ll be in tow for this one, as will Idris Elba, who played Heimdall –the guardian of Asgard- in both Thor films.
But perhaps the biggest and most pleasant surprise is that rising-star Hayley Atwell will be in the film. Atwell’s performance as Agent Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger drew much love from fans and was then fully-realized in its own show. It’ll be interesting to see how Joss Whedon incorporates her into the film seeing as she is from the 1940s.
|Other MCU characters slated to appear in Avengers Age of Ultron|
|Character||Portrayed By||Appeared in MCU via|
|Col. James Rhodes aka War Machine||Don Cheadle||Iron Man (Terrence Howard), Iron Man 2 & 3|
|Sam Wilson aka Falcon||Anthony Mackie||Captain America: The Winter Soldier|
|Peggy Carter||Hayley Atwell||Captain America: The First Avenger, ABC's Agent Carter|
|Heimdall||Idris Elba||Thor, Thor: The Dark World|
Characters being introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron
Despite already being loaded up with fan favorites, the film will introduce a number of new players. The most notable to Marvel fans are probably the Maximoff twins, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, who have made countless appearances in both X-Men and Avengers comics. Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass, Godzilla) will be playing Quicksilver, a mutant capable of superhuman speed. His twin sister, Scarlet Witch, will be played by Elizabeth Olsen (Silent House, Godzilla). Scarlet Witch is a mutant capable of hypnosis and telekinesis. There’s a good chance that the twins will be introduced as antagonists early in the film, and then team up with the rest of the Avengers later on. Both Olsen and Taylor-Johnson are probably one more big performance away from becoming household names, and this will likely be the film that does just that.
Multiple villains will be introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron. The main one, obviously, is Ultron itself. Ultron is an artificial intelligence system with a warped sense of peace who will try to destroy the world. In the comics Ultron was created by Hank Pym, who we’ll see Michael Douglas play in Ant-Man. However, in this film, he’s a creation of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. James Spader, Boston Legal veteran and current star of NBC’s The Blacklist, will be playing Ultron. His performance will consist of motion capture of his face and body as well as voice acting. In the film, Ultron creates an Android called Vision, who will be played by Paul Bettany. Bettany also will return to voice J.A.R.V.I.S., Tony Stark’s computer system.
A couple of new secondary villains will debut as well. Andy Serkis, basically the Sir Laurence Olivier of motion-capture, will be playing physicist turned sonic wave shooting villain Ulysses Klaw. HYDRA leader Wolfgang von Strucker, who made a cameo in a mid-credits sequence for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, will be played by German actor Thomas Kretschmann.
Claudia Kim will be playing the created character Dr. Cho, a friend to Tony Stark.
|Characters to be introduced in Avengers Age of Ultron|
|Pietro Maximoff aka Quicksilver||Aaron Taylor-Johnson||Twin brother of Scarlet Witch, has superhuman speed. Evan Peters played him in X-Men: Days of Future Past|
|Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch||Elizabeth Olsen||Twin sister of Quicksilver, can perform hypnosis and telekinesis|
|Vision||Paul Bettany||Android created by main villain Ultron|
|Ultron||James Spader||A.I. Program that sets out to eradicate all humans|
|Wolfgang von Strucker||Thomas Kretschmann||Ageless (and possibly immortal) leader of HYDRA|
|Dr. Cho||Claudia Kim||Friend of Tony Stark, created for this film|
|Ulysses Klaw||Andy Serkis||Villain, physicist turned into "solidified sound", shoots sonic waves|
Speculation/Things to look out for
When the premise of the film was announced, many fans were surprised that Thanos wasn’t involved. Thanos, played by Josh Brolin, made a cameo at the end of The Avengers and briefly appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy. Being a “space” character, it makes sense that Marvel would hold off on using Thanos in Avengers: Age of Ultron, a film whose conflict seems to be based more around technology on earth. Thanos has been announced as the chief villain in Avengers: Infinity Wars Parts 1 & 2, expected to be released in 2018 and 2019 respectively. He’ll likely appear in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 as well.
Who is the mysterious woman in the cave? In the trailer, we get a brief glimpse of a character disrobing in some sort of cave. The internet has exploded with speculation, many claiming that it’s Nebula from Guardians of the Galaxy. A better guess: she’s one of the Dora Milaje, the bodyguards for Black Panther, who hail from the fictional African nation Wakanda. Wakanda does exist in the MCU (it was shown on a map in Iron Man 2) and will likely be explored in Black Panther. There are plenty of Black Panther tie-ins likely to be present in Avengers: Age of Ultron; including the fact that Andy Serkis plays Klaw who is a Black Panther villain after all, and there’s also a shot of a city in the trailer that may very well be Wakanda.
You’ve surely heard that Marvel and Sony reached a deal a few weeks ago that gives Marvel the rights to use Spider-Man in their films. Sony will still have its own version of the character, which will be completely separate from the one who will be part of the MCU in the future. Spider-Man isn’t going to be a part of Avengers: Age of Ultron, seeing as this film was completed before the deal was even reached, but I’d still keep an eye out for some cookies and references. Marvel could theoretically add in a couple of classic Spider-Man items digitally in post-production to give fans a bit of a tease. They could also hint at him in a post-credits sequence.
There are likely going to be a few other surprise characters appearing in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but for now, these are the confirmed ones. We’ll have more on Avengers: Age of Ultron news along with the rest of the MCU as it unfolds.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is in UK cinemas on 24 April and on 1 May in the US.