11:26am PT by Graeme McMillan
A Closer Look at the New 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Trailer
And now we have the final trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron, offering the clearest look yet at what’s to come for Marvel’s premier superteam. But what can actually be found in the two-minute-plus peek? Here are some things you might have missed. (As well as some guesses as to what, if anything, they might mean.)
Finally, the Vision
Admittedly, we only get the briefest of glimpses of Paul Bettany’s robot hero (at the 2:02 mark, where he opens his eyes), but it’s the most we’ve seen so far — and something that looks faithful to the character’s comic book visuals, albeit with a hint of Kryten from beloved British sitcom Red Dwarf.
Ultron’s Origin Gets Revealed
Between James Spader’s voiceover and Tony Stark’s confession to Bruce Banner, we now know that Ultron comes from a project that Iron Man worked on to, it appears, automate the work of being a superhero. “I was designed to save the world,” Ultron explains. “There’s only one path to peace: their extinction.” Quite why Banner seems so surprised about Stark’s use of artificial intelligence seems off, though; don’t the rest of the Avengers already know about JARVIS, who’s been showing up in the movies since the first Iron Man? (Also, given that JARVIS is voiced by Paul Bettany, does that mean the Vision is literally JARVIS gone mobile?)
Are We About to Get a New, Proactive Avengers?
File under “foreshadowing the next step of the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” perhaps, but there’s something about Captain America (Chris Evans) saying “I’m sick of watching people pay for our mistakes” that sticks out. To date, the Marvel movie heroes have always been reactive, dealing with threats as they emerged — could that be about to change in future? (Of course, the proactive alternative so far has looked like SHIELD as we saw them in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so maybe not.)
Of Course, There’s an Infinity Stone …
… but, really, what is Tony Stark doing with Loki’s scepter from the first Avengers movie at the 1:15 mark?
From Superspy to Motivational Speaker
“Here we all are — with nothing but our wit and will to save the world,” Samuel L. Jackson’s former head of SHIELD says midway through the trailer. That’s not entirely true — they also have superpowered gadgets, Cap has superstrength thanks to his Super Soldier formula, and Thor is an alien who can fly and control the weather, after all — but it hints at a new role for Nick Fury. We’ve seen him as master manipulator and the man with the plan, but could Age of Ultron mark him out as the biggest believer in the Avengers of them all?
Poor Black Widow
It’s mostly a coincidence, but watching Scarlett Johansson in this trailer just after this satirical item in McSweeneys was published feels unfortunate. “I probably know how to drive a car, but my male team members always take the wheel, while I follow on a motorcycle, leaning low over the bars, my eyes focused, my ass taut and hovering just above the seat” feels particularly cutting. On the plus side, now that the Scarlet Witch is around, Black Widow’s not the only female member of the team! Oh, and about Scarlet Witch …
Traitors to the Cause
Close examination of the trailer will show newcomers the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) both working against — and with — the Avengers. We see the Witch pulls some whammy on Scarlett Johannson’s Black Widow, as well as Quicksilver’s superspeed punch on Cap’s jaw, but also the characters standing behind Thor in the fight sequence following the “Is that the best you can do?” line. No surprise to comic book fans, who have already seen the characters go from supervillains to superheroes, but given that the trailer also shows the Avengers fighting among themselves (foreshadowing next year’s Captain America: Civil War, perhaps), expect the movie to make the line between friend and foe a lot more blurred than usual.
Will an Avenger Die?
Perhaps I’m too faithful a believer in Chekhov’s gun, but do you really put a line like “No way we all get through this” in a trailer without having a plan to pay that off in the movie itself? As much as it would upset the faithful fandom, there are a number of characters up for possible dismissal in Age of Ultron, with only Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow and potentially Hawkeye definites for future Marvel movies. Yes, I know there’s a Thor movie scheduled for 2017, but he’s one of the most likely candidates for any potential demise — after all, he’s died many times in the comics before and returned, and what better way to set up a movie called Thor: Ragnarok than by “killing” off the hero? (Then again, the line might just be a hyperbolic attempt to raise the stakes in the mind of the audience.)
Avengers: Age of Ultron will be released May 1.