Avengers: Age of Ultron is still about a year away, but Marvel has got the hype train up and running for its next inevitable smash hit. The newest leaked details from the next Avengers give us our first good look at Ultron, as well as some shocking details on how Ultron comes into being.
Marvel spilled the details to Entertainment Weekly, along with a look at Ultron. Comic fans will be glad to know that the Avengers villain looks just as he does on the page, and Marvel assures us that his origin, while having been tweaked for the screen, flows organically out of what has already been shown in previous Avengers movies.
In the comics, Ultron is an advanced artificial intelligence patterned on the brainwaves of its creator, Hank Pym. As soon as Ultron achieved consciousness, its descent into villainy began, as it developed an irrational hatred for Pym, whom Ultron considered its father.
[Related: Infinity War – The cosmic event Marvel is probably building to with Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy.]
In Age of Ultron – thankfully – we won't see Marvel stretching to fit in Ultron's comic continuity. Instead, the movie Ultron will grow out of Tony Stark's own desire to keep himself and his fellow Avengers a bit safer.
"For better or for worse," EW's report reads, "Tony Stark has devised a plan that won't require him to put on the Iron Man suit anymore, and should allow Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the Hulk to get some much needed R&R as well."
That plan? Why, Ultron, a self-aware, self-teaching artificial intelligence with the capability to assess threats on its own and dispatch them using Stark's Iron Legion of drones.
So, Tony Stark invents an artificial intelligence to take some of the load off him and the Avengers. It's tasked with protecting humanity, and it's got access to Tony's arsenal of Iron Man suits. As you can guess, everything just goes swimmingly from there.
"Ultron sees the big picture and he goes, 'Okay, we need radical change, which will be violent and appalling, in order to make everything better,'" according to Age of Ultron's writer/director/fanboy-demigod Joss Whedon, "he's not just going to go 'Muhaha, soon I'll rule!' He's on a mission. He wants to save us."
Pity, that. We had been looking forward to a god maniacal villain laugh, and Ultron's face is already so smiley.
Of course, some fans might be thinking the Avengers could just pull the plug on Ultron, call it a day, and go have some shawarma, no?
No. Not so much.
Remember how we said Ultron has access to Stark's Iron Legion of drones? Yeah, that's not all he's got access to. Since Ultron isn't just one metallic body, but instead an artificial intelligence, he can upload himself and disappear "not into the clouds but the Cloud. And he has a bad habit of rebuilding himself into stronger and more fearsome physical forms."
That could mean that the Avengers will have to take on an army of Ultrons. It could mean they'll have to take on tons of otherwise harmless technologies as well. With the rumor mill saying that Age of Ultron could be a much darker Avengers movie than the previous, that could mean Marvel's mightiest will be overwhelmed, perhaps even with some deaths in the offing? Could it, in fact, be Ultron controlling the Hulkbuster Iron Man armor and fighting the Hulk in previously released concept art?
[Related: We're still sticking to our theory that Ultron launches the Hulk into space, setting up a crossover event with the Guardians of the Galaxy.]
Meanwhile, Marvel also released some official on-set stills from Age of Ultron, and they're showing the Avengers in fine form. All of the Avengers appear to see some sort of costume tweak, including the Black Widow, who is much more heavily armed this time around.
One shot of a clothes rack shows costumes for all of the Avengers, including Nick Fury, thus confirming that Samuel Jackson will be making an appearance, despite the latest goings on with S.H.I.E.L.D.
The newest pictures also show off Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, though it remains to be seen whether Marvel's take on the fastest Mutant in the world will be as impressive as Fox's in X-Men: Days of Future Past.