September 11, 2013 3:09pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Whedon on Spader's Ultron: 'My First and Only Choice'
Joss Whedon has broken his silence about the casting of James Spader as the titular villain in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron, and as many guessed at the time, it wasn't the actor's cold, steely gaze that made him ideal for the role -- it was his drawl.
"Spader was my first and only choice," Whedon told Marvel's own The Watcher video series. "He's got that hypnotic voice that can be eerily calm and compelling, but he can be very human and humorous. Ultron is not [2001's] HAL -- Spader can play all of the levels. He's the guy to break the Avengers into pieces. Bwah ha ha ha." (As Lorraine Cink added, somewhat embarrassed, "Seriously, he included that evil laugh.")
Still left unanswered: Whether or not Spader will only be lending his voice to the role. To date, Marvel has referred to Spader playing Ultron, as opposed to just voicing the traditionally robotic character. In contrast, Bradley Cooper is constantly described as voicing Rocket Raccoon. This would tend to suggest three possibilities:
- The movie Ultron will be significantly different from the comic book version.
- The movie Ultron won't really be Ultron, a la Ben Kingsley not really being the Mandarin in this summer's Iron Man 3.
- Marvel is intentionally avoiding defining whether or not Spader will actually be seen in the movie in order to maintain some mystery about a film that is, after all, still almost two years away from release.
The question is, which of those options is more likely, really …?