Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
The Avengers: Age of Ultron is adding someone new to their lineup, and it might be someone we already know and love. According to The Daily Mail, the film will be adding The Vision to their already massive cast, and are reportedly looking at British actor Paul Bettany to play the role — yes, the same Paul Bettany who currently provides the voice for everyone's favorite artificially intelligent butler and personal assistant JARVIS. The actor was apparently spotted recently with Jeremy Renner on the set of the film, and that he appeared to be participating in some costuming and make up tests for the part.
It seems like every time we turn around, there's a new character being added to Age of Ultron, and with so many other superhero franchises also in the middle of casting and filming, it can be difficult keeping everyone and their powers straight. To help you out, we've created a handy rundown of all of the new heroes and villains who will be in the next Avengers film, in order of how excited we are to see them on the big screen.
Unspecified Villain Played By: Kim Soo-hyunWhat We Know: Honestly? Not much. Kim, who is a Korean actress, was recently cast in an "villain role," which means that her character will either play a supporting role to one of or both of the film's two main villains, or she will be revealed to be a significant character somewhere down the line. How Excited We Are: Well, that depends on who she's playing, doesn't it?
The Vision Played By: Paul Bettany (Allegedly)What We Know: Vision is a robot created by Ultron as a way to enact revenge against his own creator. Though Vision starts off as a bad guy, he eventually becomes good and joins the Avengers, and even falls in love with and marries Scarlet Witch. His powers include flight, phasing, the ability to project solar energy, and regeneration, which is sure to make things complicated for the Avengers. There's been no word yet on whether this version of Vision will be tied to JARVIS in any way, but many people are theorizing that Ultron may corrupt JARVIS and turn him into Vision. How Excited We Are: We'd prefer if he made a Wimbledon 2, but we'll take it.
QuicksilverPlayed By: Aaron Taylor-JohnsonWhat We Know: Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff is the twin brother of Wanda/Scarlet Witch, and is also a mutant and a former member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. He can move and think at superhuman speeds, a trait which Taylor-Johnson revealed causes him to become easily bored and irritable. He's incredibly protective of his sister, likely due to the fact that they were abandoned as children, and have spent most of their lives running away and protecting themselves from people who wanted to harm them. Quicksilver will also appear in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, although he will be played by Evan Peters, and they characters will not move between the two universes. How Excited We Are: Well, it's got to turn out better than the other Quicksilver's Empire cover, right?
Scarlet Witch Played By: Elizabeth OlsenWhat We Know: Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. Scarlet Witch will be joining the Avengers lineup in Age of Ultron. She originally appeared in the X-Men comics along with her twin brother, Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver as part of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but she was later recruited by Iron Man to join the Avengers. She's a mutant, and her powers come from her ability to perform "hexes," and telekinesis, which allow her to move or control objects as well as causing bad things to happen to her opponents. Olsen also revealed that her character can "connect with the dead and people from the past, the future, other universes," so we're excited to see how that ability comes into play in Age of Ultron. Scarlet Witch and Vision fall in love in the comics, so we're likely to see some sparks fly onscreen as well. How Excited We Are: We're always up for more female superheroes. Always.
Baron Wolfgang Von StruckerPlayed By: Thomas KretschmannWhat We Know: Strucker is a former Nazi officer who founds HYDRA, is the mortal enemy of S.H.I.E.L.D., and has spent most of his life attempting to take over the world through genocide. He is incredibly intelligent and strong, and is excellent at hand-to-hand combat, as well as having an aptitude for military strategy and disguise. Strucker has been thought to be killed many times, although he has survived or regenerated each time, and although it hasn't been revealed which powers he will have in Age of Ultron, in some comics, he is able to kill his opponents instantly by releasing the Death Spore from his body. He also sues his HYDRA resources to develop serums that give him additional powers and prevent him from aging, so that he can stay eternally youthful and torture Nick Fury for all of eternity. How Excited We Are: He's cool, but we've already seen one Super Nazi, and we're more interested in the maniacal AI.
Falcon Played By: Anthony MackieWhat We Know: Though it hasn't yet been confirmed whether or not Samuel Wilson/Falcon will appear in Age of Ultron, but since we know that it will deal directly with the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it's likely that he will pop up in some way. Although his backstory differs somewhat in the comcis, in the film, Falcon works as a tactical leader for S.HI.E.L.D. and bonds with Captain America over their shared military experience. He is able to fly using a pair of mechanical wings, and in the comics he also has the ability to connect with birds, see through their eyes and communicate with them. Falcon has been Captain America's sidekick since the 1970s, and joined the Avengers shortly afterwards, which means it's only a matter of time before we see him line up with the rest of the team. How Excited We Are: Finally, Mackie will be in a film worth seeing. Sorry dude, we love you, but even you couldn't make Runner, Runner bearable.
Ultron Played By: James SpaderWhat We Know: Ultron is an artificial intelligence with an unfortunate god complex who is hell-bent on getting revenge on his creator and taking over the world. He's a long-term nemesis for the Avengers, having first appeared in the comics in the 1940s, so even though he's the main villain of this film, that doesn't necessarily mean we won't see him in future films. Ultron will be rendered on-screen through CGI, though he will be based on the motion-capture work that Spader will be doing. His range of powers includes superhuman strength, speed, and stamina, flight, and the ability to shoot rays of energy from his hands that renders opponents unconscious; however, Joss Whedon has revealed that not all of his powers will be featured in Age of Ultron. How Excited We Are: He's the big bad of the film and he's voiced by Spader. Need we say more?
Actress Elizabeth Olsen has confirmed reports she has joined the cast of The Avengers sequel Age of Ultron. Samuel L. Jackson let it slip that the Martha Marcy May Marlene star had landed the role of Scarlet Witch in the film last month (Oct13), and now she is speaking out about joining the superhero film franchise.
She'll team up with Aaron Taylor-Johnson - her co-star in upcoming monster movie Godzilla - who will play her twin brother Quicksilver in The Avengers movie.
She says, "We get to play husband and wife (in Godzilla), and we get to play twin brother and sister. It's also fun because even though in Godzilla we play husband and wife, we don't have a lot of scenes together. I just love him. I love his family. I love his kids. I'm so excited... I think it's going to be fun."
Olsen also can't wait to start working with director Joss Whedon, adding, "He's very smart. He's too smart. He might be too smart. Some people are too smart for their own good, but he's amazing."
Actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson has been confirmed to play Quicksilver in the new Avengers film. The Kick-Ass star has been the rumoured frontrunner for the role since June (13), but a scheduling conflict with the Godzilla reboot movie, which Taylor-Johnson also stars in, almost derailed his chances of appearing in The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
However, the issue has reportedly been worked out and Taylor-Johnson will take on the superhero role, according to TheWrap.com.
Quicksilver is the twin brother of the Scarlet Witch, who will be played by Elizabeth Olsen.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which also stars Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson, is set to hit theatres in 2015.
Kick-Ass costars Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Even Peters have now both been cast as different versions of Marvel superhero Quicksilver in the Avengers and X-Men franchises, respectively. Quicksilver began as an X-Men villain, but became an Avenger, so we'll be seeing both sides iterations over the next few summers. There are a few basic things we know about both versions of the character: Because of ownership issues between studios, the Avengers cannot appear in the X-Men film and vice-versa, so Taylor-Johnson, in Avengers: Age of Ultron, will play opposite Elizabeth Olsen as his twin sister the Scarlet Witch, while Peters will be either working for or against the X-Men in Days of Future Past.
Taylor-Johnson is a little brawnier than Peters from bulking up for Kick-Ass its sequel (in which the latter did not appear), but has a neurotic, almost nerdy energy. Peters looks a little bit younger (though he's actually 26 to Taylor-Johnson's 23), and more like a waffling, reluctant hero, similar to Nicolas Hoult in X-Men: First Class. This sequel actually spans two time periods, but Quicksilver only appears as his young self, struggling, we can assume, with the mounting tension between his father, charismatic villain Magneto, and the rest of the mutants. Here, we could see the earlier version of Quicksilver, the misguided kid who turns to villainy and becomes hungry for ways to increase his power, ultimately gaining the ability to move so fast he can jump through time.
Since Magneto is off-limits to the Avengers crew, they're sticking with the Scarlet Witch. Taylor-Johnson has said his version of Quicksilver will be very protective of his sister. In the comics, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch grew up in austere Eastern Europe, and have a close relationship that at some points gets a little Game of Thronesy (hopefully that's not what they'll go for in a fun action movie). Maybe that means Taylor-Johnson will be channeling his best Russian accent and playing it straight, hinting at their childhood trauma. That codependent version of the twins could work great in what should be a darker movie than the first. And since Scarlet Witch is the one who has the power to stop Ultron (and also has a history with Hawkeye, the most underused Avenger so far), perhaps we could see Quicksilver sacrifice himself for her in a final act of heroism.
Bottom line: Taylor-Johnson will be tasked with giving nuance to the role of protector, which he should hopefully be able to do by incorporating the character's past and even his Eastern European heritage, while Peters, as a fast-talking, mouthy kid, will hopefully bump up against his father, Magneto, and be caught between the worlds of good and evil as the X-Men movies struggle to establish new villains.
Double bottom line: Between these films, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, Batman Vs. Superman, etc., et al, so on and so forth, the upcoming superhero slate just keeps getting more and more overstuffed, and it might be time to make good on the promises of letting some of the old characters go.
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You have to wonder if Nick Fury had this much trouble getting people to actually join the Avengers Initiative (it never appeared to take much more than a brief post-credits scene to rope anybody in). You'd think it'd be even easier to get someone on board with simply playing the Avengers in a movie — better pay, fewer risks of death — but recent news had Saoirse Ronan passing on the part of Scarlet Witch. Reports from Bleeding Cool, however, are that Elizabeth Olsen is in talks to replace the Hanna star as the Marvel heroine in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Originally conceived as a villain — a member, alongside twin brother Quicksilver (who has been all but been officially handed to Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson for the blockbuster sequel) of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants due to a debt owed to X-Men's evil mastermind Magneto — the Scarlet Witch turned her allegiances to justice and used her superpowers of "influencing probability" to fight alongside the Avengers.
New to the craft though she may be, Olsen has some hefty material under her belt: the chilling Martha Marcy May Marlene and the forthcoming Allen Ginsberg thriller Kill Your Darlings. Though a part amongst the likes of superstars Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and co. might be a daunting task for a 24-year-old with only a handful of titles to her name, Olsen's acting prowess seems to be on a steady incline. Scarlet Witch might be her final step into legitimate stardom.
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Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson has emerged as the frontrunner to play superhero Quicksilver in The Avengers sequel. The British actor has revealed he's in negotiations over the role with filmmaker Joss Whedon and executives at Marvel.
He tells Collider.com, "I feel really flattered and honoured that they came to me for that role... I think he's (Quicksilver) an interesting character and we're just gonna keep going into that.
"I sat down with Joss, I think he's awesome, I sat down with the guys at Marvel and they're also great; I think it'd be interesting."
In the Marvel universe, Quicksilver is the lightning-fast mutant twin brother of the Scarlet Witch.
It is still not clear who will be appearing in The Avengers sequel, titled Age of Ultron, apart from Robert Downey, Jr, who confirmed he'd be returning as Tony Stark/Iron Man last month (Jun13).
Marvel fans looking forward to Tom Hiddleston's quotable lines in the realm of "I am Loki, of Asgard. And I am burdened with glorious purpose," will have to settle for them in the Thor sequel and not in the upcoming Avengers 2. In a podcast interview with Empire Magazine, Joss Whedon, director of The Avengers and its developing sequel, addresses expectations of the long-awaited sequel and suggests that Loki will not make an appearance.
"Everyone is going to be looking for the Loki-Hulk smash moment and you'll be looking for [a quim moment]." Whedon here is referring to the fan favorite scenes when the behemoth Bruce Banner slams the hell out of the nefarious Loki, and to a separate discourse between Loki and the Black Widow, during which he refers to her as a "mewling quim" (a highly offensive piece of British slang). "First of all, imitating what I did before is the surest way to do it not as well. Second of all, Loki's not there to say those terrible things. Although I do think we should bring the word back, not as an insult, it's just a nice word."
While we should expect appearances by Thaos, Quicksilver, and The Scarlet Witch, Whedon has revealed that Loki won't be a part of the plot at all. The character isn't gone for good, however: Thor's nemesis brother will have a major role in Thor: The Dark World in theaters this fall.
By the hammer of Thor, check out the podcast interview below and see The Avengers 2 when it soars into theaters on May 1st, 2015.
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"Oh yeah?" Joss Whedon must have said, Avengers 2 script in hand, when he heard the news about fellow Marvel helmsman Bryan Singer casting Evan Peters to play Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past. "Fine! I'll get my own Quicksilver! And he'll have twice as many last names as your guy!" And so it goes, with Aaron Taylor-Johnson being the frontrunner to play the character in the upcoming Avengers sequel.
Although no deal has been made, The Wrap reports that Kick-Ass star Taylor-Johnson is targeted for the mutant character, who begun his comic book history as a member of the X-Men and found himself on the Avengers team later on. Taylor-Johnson proved himself a dutiful crime fighter in Kick-Ass, and will likely carry on this reputation in the upcoming sequel.
No news yet on who will take the Scarlet Witch role that has been added to the story, nor on the status of Robert Downey Jr.'s involvement. But all things look positive for Whedon's sequel.
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Robert Zemeckis is a blockbuster director at heart. Action has never been an issue for the man behind Back to the Future. When he puts aside the high concept adventures for emotional human stories — think Forrest Gump or Cast Away — he still goes big. His latest Flight continues the trend revolving the story of one man's fight with alcoholism around a terrifying plane crash. Zemeckis expertly crafts his roaring centerpiece and while he finds an agile performer in Denzel Washington the hour-and-a-half of Flight after the shocking moment can't sustain the power. The "big" works. The intimate drowns.
Washington stars as Whip Whitaker a reckless airline pilot who balances his days flying jumbo jets with picking up women snorting lines of cocaine and drinking himself to sleep. Although drunk for the flight that will change his life forever that's not the reason the plane goes down — in fact it may be the reason he thinks up his savvy landing solution in the first place. Writer John Gatins follows Whitaker into the aftermath madness: an investigation of what really happened during the flight Whitaker's battle to cap his addictions and budding relationships that if nurtured could save his life.
Zemeckis tops his own plane crash in Cast Away with the heart-pounding tailspin sequence (if you've ever been scared of flying before Flight will push into phobia territory). In the few scenes after the literal destruction Washington is able to convey an equal amount of power in the moments of mental destruction. Whitaker is obviously crushed by the events the bottle silently calling for him in every down moment. Flight strives for that level of introspection throughout eventually pairing Washington with equally distraught junkie Nicole (Kelly Reilly). Their relationship is barely fleshed out with the script time and time again resorting to obvious over-the-top depictions of substance abuse (a la Nic Cage's Leaving Las Vegas) and the bickering that follows. Washington's Whitaker hits is lowest point early sitting there until the climax of the film.
Sharing screentime with the intimate tale is the surprisingly comical attempt by the pilot's airline union buddy (Bruce Greenwood) and the company lawyer (Don Cheadle) to get Whitaker into shape. Prepping him for inquisitions looking into evidence from the wreckage and calling upon Whitaker's dealer Harling (John Goodman) to jump start their "hero" when the time is right the two men do everything they can to keep any blame being placed upon Whitaker by the National Transportation Safety Board investigators. The thread doesn't feel relevant to Whitaker's plight and in turn feels like unnecessary baggage that pads the runtime.
Everything in Fight shoots for the skies — and on purpose. The music is constantly swelling the photography glossy and unnatural and rarely do we breach Washington's wild exterior for a sense of what Whitaker's really grappling with. For Zemeckis Flight is still a spectacle film with Washington's ability to emote as the magical special effect. Instead of using it sparingly he once again goes big. Too big.
Actors like Peter O'Toole are a rarity. Although the 79-year-old film and stage performer is best known for his earlier works, most notably the starring role in the cinematic classic Lawrence of Arabia, O'Toole has endured as a virile talent in Hollywood, contributing to great contemporary films as well. Earlier today, it was reported that O'Toole had announced his plans to retire from acting. The world of film has not existed without O'Toole's presence in over fifty years; needless to say, this will leave a hefty gap in the hearts of cinephiles.
Below are just a few of O'Toole's most noteworthy cinematic contributions. What are some of your favorites?
T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
King Henry II in Becket (1964)
Arthur Chipping in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969)
Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha 1972)
Tiberius in Caligula (1979)
Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of Four, The Valley of Fear, and The Baskerville Curse (1983)
Zaltar in Supergirl (1984)
R.J. Johnson in The Last Emperor(1987)
Priam in Troy (2004)
Maurice in Venus (2006)
Anton Ego in Ratatouille (2007)
King in Stardust (2007)
[Image Credits: Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, United Artists, Produzioni Atlas, TriStar Pictures, Warner Bros., Miramax/FilmFour Productions, Pixar]
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