This week we were blessed by the ‘Gods’ of Asgard’s gift to us mortals: the first trailer for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron!’
Our first look at the movie fuels my speculation on the path the film’s storyline will take by providing new information and images not offered in Marvel Studios’ official synopsis, early photos, and leaked information.
First, Marvel Studios’ official synopsis:
Marvel Studios presents “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.
Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.
In addition to the preceding summary, what did we see in the trailer and what will likely happen in ‘Age of Ultron?’
Act 1 – Assault on Baron Strucker’s Castle
During the mid-credit sequence on ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’ we were introduced to Baron Wolfgang von Strucker and his Hydra operation, in possession of both Loki’s staff with the Mind Infinity Stone and “the twins;” Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, who played husband and wife in 2014’s ‘Godzilla’).
Baron Strucker speaks of Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D. being two sides of a coin “that is no longer currency” vowing to feed other Hydra bases to “Captain America and his colorful friends” in order to continue their own important research which has resulted in dead volunteers and the twins which, to Baron Strucker, ushers in the “Age of Miracles.”
I assume Loki’s staff from ‘The Avengers’ is the source of Baron Strucker’s experiments on humans that results in giving the Pietro and Wanda their powers, making them Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, respectively.
I propose the movie will open with an Avengers assault on Baron Strucker’s castle (seen below), freeing the twins and acquiring Loki’s staff which was confiscated by S.H.I.E.L.D. after ‘The Avengers,’ only to fall into Hydra hands due to their secret doings within Nick Fury’s old organization.
The assault on Strucker’s castle would serve as the perfect action scene to kick off one hell of a movie with a blast while also serving the story. The twins have to be freed somehow. The Avengers need an opening action sequence to get them to their next scene; the party at Avengers Tower. It’s a win-win-win, if you include the audience.
The above photos offer a snowy Forrest, very simialar to what we saw in ‘Captain America: First Avenger,’ evidence we’re in Europe or Germany in these scenes, NOT Wakanda as suggested by other blogs.
ACT II – The Party and The Arrival of Ultron
The first footage revealed at Comic-Con showed the Avengers on their day off, throwing a shindig at Avengers Tower. The scene has a party-trick sort of contest between the members of the Avengers who each try to lift Thor’s hammer to the Asgardian’s amusement. When Captain America moves it an inch, Thor is a bit peeved… and shocked. Steve Rogers is worthy indeed…
The party is interrupted by an unexpected visitor. Presumably Stark already revealed his plan; the creation of Ultron taking world security off of the Avengers’ backs. But why is the Ultron in such bad shape? Did The Avengers already try to take him down after he overstepped his bounds? Is Stark still building him, C-3PO in ‘Star Wars: Episode I’ style?
Or were Ultron and this other drone and/or Iron Man suit made to fight to the death, Mandingo style?
Likely, Ultron overstepped his bounds, and the 2nd drone or Iron Man suit was dispatched to take him out, only to fail as seen below.
It’s safe to assume the party is over.
“The Twins” – Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch
How exactly do Joss Whedon’s favorite Avengers, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, play into the plot of ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron?’
Assuming they get their freedom from the Avengers assault on Strucker’s castle, they may face off against the Avengers early. Or, maybe they are gone by the time the Avengers steal back Loki’s staff and take care of the Baron.
Some footage suggests we will see them pre-experimentation. Above they appear to be pre-powers and in the screen-grabs below it looks like some sort of surgery is taking place… with tools shaped like the tentacles of the Hydra Seal.
However it goes down, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch end up as allies of Ultron before they join up with the Avengers.
What’s Up With The Hulk?
Something is going seriously wrong with Bruce Banner and “the other guy:” the incredible Hulk!
First he seems to be collapsing during the assault on the castle, as he is in the same snowy forrest as Hawkeye in the earlier screen-grabs.
And he looks to be in terrible shape on the Quinjet.
Finally, he’s fighting Iron Man? After causing destruction at what looks to be a European city. (We’re not in New York anymore).
Yet, he still has time for a gentle moment with Black Widow. Maybe he accidentally Hulks out against the Avengers, requiring Tony to don the Hulkbuster and Black Widow is able to calm him down.
Ultron isn’t known for mind games; in the comics it is Loki who manipulates the Hulk to be the first Avenger baddie. Perhaps Scarlet Witch uses her powers to turn him against the Avengers and cause mass destruction in this scene and strip him of the Hulk in the snowy forrest?
Or does Tony deserve a Hulk attack? After all, he’s not the only Avenger pissed at Tony Stark. So…
What’s Up With Tony Stark?
Tony Stark seems to be pissing everyone off, based on the trailer.
I assume this is retribution for creating Ultron. Or maybe Tony’s done something worse?
Finally, he does fight the Hulk… maybe…
I predict that Ultron is using his drone controlling powers to control the Hulkbuster armor, just as Tony Stark controls his empty armor remotely in ‘Iron Man 3.’
Unless my predictions of Scarlet Witch manipulation or an Ultron controlled Hulkbuster suit are true… Hulk is on the Avengers side and has been seen fighting alongside them with very little confrontation (with Thor, of course) in the first Avengers film. Maybe it is Tony who is out of line.
How Did Ultron Break Captain America’s Invincible Shield?
Capt.’s shield is made from Vibranium, the most invincible metal on Earth (even Thor’s hammer couldn’t break it in ‘The Avengers’). In ‘First Avenger,’ Howard Stark says the S.H.I.E.L.D. is made from all the Vibranium on Earth.
But there is more in the comics… and it all comes from Wakanda, home of the Black Panther.
Some websites assume we will see Black Panther in ‘Age of Ultron,’ but I think that’s more than a long-shot; it’s not going to happen!
How do we even know Wakanda will be featured in the film?
Well, the official summary calls the film a “unique global adventure,” so locations like the snowy European forrest and Wakanda make a lot of sense.
After all, if Capt. hopes to fix his shield or if Ultron hopes to destroy it, then Wakanda and Vibranium are totally in the mix.
Plus there’s this photo of a mysterious character played by Andy Serkis.
As the photos show, Serkis looks a lot like Klaw.
Klaw is a Black Panther villain, but I don’t think his appearance means we will see Black Panther (he may be name-dropped, like Stephen Strange in ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’). I think Klaw may be doing a job for Ultron…
It is doubtful a villain like Klaw, who does specialize in Vibranium – the reason he lives in Wakanda – would help the Avengers fix Captain America’s shield. But it is totally feasible that Ultron hires (or forces) him to give the robot a fresh coat of the indestructible metal.
How does one break a shield made of the stuff then? Well, in ‘The Wolverine,’ Wolvie’s Adamantium claws are cut off by the Silver Samurai using heated Adamantium. Perhaps Ultron uses a similar tactic to break Capt.’s shield? Because if Thor’s hammer doesn’t destroy the thing, how can a punch from Ultron do it?
Ultron and the Places They Go
As originally described in Entertainment Weekly’s ‘Age of Ultron’ cover story months back, Ultron is not just a machine, he is a consciousness on the cloud that can control a number of drones, like the one below.
The trailer features dozens of these drones attacking another old-school, stone, European structure, that does look to be different than Baron Strucker’s castle. One that, on the inside, might look like this…
That has the Avengers in New York at Avengers Tower, a stop in what is likely Germany for Baron Strucker’s castle, some time in Europe/Eastern Europe where the Hulk fights the Hulkbuster, Wakanda, and this other European looking stone structure.
The Avengers are covering more ground than James Bond, which is especially exciting considering they spent the first film entirely in the United States.
As for Ultron, he may have many drones and start out as a freaky looking suit, but he finally reaches his full potential (with Vibranium?) and ends up looking like this…
Of course, some sort of finale happens with all the Avengers, including Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, against this final incarnation of Ultron and perhaps an entire army of drones.
Even though he was absent in the trailer, Vision will be in the film as seen in the upper left corner of the above Comic Con exclusive poster. He’s that dude hovering in the air. Ultron makes this robot companion using Tony’s J.A.R.V.I.S. artificial intelligence, only to have it eventually turn on him like Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.
Will We See Nick Fury?
Nick Fury had to fake his death in ‘Winter Soldier’ and ‘stayed dead’ after the film. But he does make some sort of appearance in the film, though it has been said that it will be a much smaller role than in ‘The Avengers’ or ‘Winter Soldier.’
Who knows what role his character will play in all this.
What’s This About the 1940s?
There is one screen-grab that looks like Captain America back home in the 1940s.
Some suggest that Scarlet Witch’s powers could cause Rogers to have a false perception that he is back in the past, putting him out of commission. After all, like manipulating the Hulk, the Avengers are easier to fight when they are not “assembled.”
I bet it’s a flash back. The summary from Marvel also reads ‘When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry.’ It is assumed Hank Pym, who we will not see until August 2015 in ‘Ant-Man’ may have created the program initially as he creates Ultron in the comics. But, if it was Steve Rogers’ old friend Howard Stark who attempted to start the program in the 40’s, then a flashback with the Capt. makes sense.
Do I have all the answers? Obviously not. But I think I’ve made a few good points based on the material Marvel Studios has provided in the form of that excellent new trailer.
All questions and assumptions will be answered on May 1st!