From John Hughes’ 1985 hit “Pretty in Pink” where James Spader played Steff, a mean-spirited friend of Andrew McCarthy, to Spielberg’s biopic “Lincoln,” in his role as W.N. Bilbo, Spader has consistently taken darker characters and made them his own. His latest transformation will be as the villain Ultron in “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
Joss Whedon is beyond excited at the idea that Spader will become the new villain. Writer-director Whedon tells Entertainment Weekly:
Ultron is not a happy guy, which means he’s an interesting guy. He’s got pain. And the way that manifests is not going to be standard robot stuff.
That being said, Spader’s previous odd roles prove him to be a perfect choice to play Ultron.
Thursday’s announcement by Marvel claimed Spader would be physically playing Ultron and not filling in as a voice-over. The implication of this feat would sum up the “performance capture” filming of the character, like “The Avengers” Hulk played by Mark Ruffalo.
Spader is also starring in the upcoming NBC pilot of “The Blacklist,” which collides with the spring production of “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.” The filming schedule could become a juggling act to get the two projects completed at the same time.
Somehow I do believe the filming will be complete, maybe with a small delay on the production of Ultron, yet the scheduling conflicts have never slowed down Hollywood or Whedon before.
Spader began his career after he dropped out of the eleventh grade from Phillips Academy in Andover, where he attended with director Peter Sellars. Spader was a bus-boy and even shoveled manure and taught yoga before he became an actor. Spader’s first role was as the brother of Brooke Shields in “Endless Love.” Spader has come a long way since then, with an undying love of creating films, yet he refuses to view those films once complete.
Spader’s role as Ultron brings him into a reunion with fellow actor Robert Downey Jr., who is donning the Iron Man suit once more. Spader and Downey’s roles in “Less Than Zero,” takes us back to 1987, when Spader was a drug dealing fiend and Downey his biggest customer. The duo’s filmography goes back even further in “Tuff Turf” where the two are involved in similar roles as “Less Than Zero.”
While the Brat Pack era is gone, the actors are still giving us what we like to see; good talent and great movies. The sequel to the “Avengers” will hopefully prove this to be true. Fans are shouting their joy of the new Ultron across Twitter. The excitement around Whedon’s upcoming “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” is as great as the cast selection of Spader playing the evil villain. In the “Avengers” films, so far so good and I don’t see this film as swaying from the greatness of the prior films.
There are some secrets revolving around the new Avengers Ultron film. Whedon tends to joke about killing off one of the Marvel characters. No more Thor or Hulk? Loki isn’t returning in the upcoming sequel either. When Entertainment Weekly interviewed Whedon, he laid it all out:
I’m always joking about the death, death, death quote. Um…maybe? But I’d have to have a really good reason, a really great sequence for us to go. We’ll cut off a potential franchise, that’s fine! They know, as any good studio does, that without some stakes, some real danger, how involved can we get? We don’t just rule it out across the board, but neither is the mission statement, ‘Who can we kill?’ We try to build the story organically and go, “How hard can we make it on these people?”
When it came to Loki, Whedon had nothing but high praise to give Tom Huddleston. Whedon implied that Ultron would be the only villain in the upcoming “Avengers: Ultron” film.