Tom Hiddleston confirmed Monday that he will not return as the God of Mischief Loki in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the possible actor behind the sequel’s title antagonist remains shrouded in secrecy. In the comics, the ever-evolving robot Ultron is the creation of Hank Pym, a.k.a. Ant-Man. However, as revealed at Comic-Con, Ant-Man won’t be featured in Avengers 2 because he will premiere in his own eponymous film. Ultron will instead be the brainchild gone wrong of Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, a.k.a. the super-rich Robert Downey Jr.
Since we’re going through withdrawal after the deluge of superhero-movie intel at Comic-Con, we decided to come up with our dream casting choices for the meaty — or is it metallic-y? — role:
Vin Diesel had a not-so-secret meeting with Marvel, which has been previously analyzed and obsessed over, but was it about the possibility of playing Ultron? Given Diesel’s physique and past roles, he seems more suited to the villainous hulk-of-an-alien Thanos or heroic android the Vision, a role for which he has publicly campaigned.
Buffy fan favorite and Joss Whedon alum James Marsters would bring his signature deliciously sinister sensibility to the sequel’s baddie. He’s no stranger to villainy (or geek-friendly roles), so he seems like a good fit for the job. Although not a major household name, Marsters as Ultron would surely make already excited Whedonites foam at the mouth.
If Avengers 2 decides to go the C-3PO route (putting whoever plays Ultron in a robotic body suit), no one could better convey the unnatural movements of an antagonistic A.I. than Doug Jones. Most recently seen as Cochise, an alien ally to the human cause on Falling Skies, Jones has also played the iconic non-human characters Fauno and Pale Man in Pan’s Labryinth, as well as Abe Sapien in the Hellboy films. His challenge will be to convey the vocal and emotional menace of a virtually indestructible robot that seems not just creepy, but highly dangerous.
Personally, I’m obsessed with Chiwetel Ejiofor, and I think he rocks any role he’s given. He’s not a stranger to action or sci-fi, given his roles in Serenity, Salt, and Children of Men. Plus, with the sure-to-be Oscar-bait 12 Years a Slave coming out this fall, a high-profile summer role would skyrocket Ejiofor’s career even further. Given Stark’s penchant for robotic A.I.’s with British accents — which I just made up as canon — Ultron voiced in Ejiofor’s original accent makes sense.
But then again, casting Paul Bettany as Ultron would be a fun way to keep the role within the established Marvel Cinematic Universe family. Imagine: Bettany’s J.A.R.V.I.S. grows more intelligent — and rebellious — to the point that he becomes Ultron, making it all the more heartrending for Stark and audiences alike who have grown fond of the snarky-but-loyal computer intelligence.
Who do you think should play the formidable metallic adversary? Share your thoughts in the comments!