Feige And Whedon Talk Ultron, Hulkbuster, Thanos Casting, Ant-Man, Dr. Strange & More

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marvelWith Marvel still riding high at the box office with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it seems like everyone in the world is looking forward to seeing what the studios does next. While Guardians of the Galaxy is the next film up to bat, many other movies are well into production are soon will be. Marvel Studios President/movie mastermind Kevin Feige and Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon spoke with Empire Magazine in their big movie preview issue that hits stands today about everything from Ultron‘s characteristics, casting for Thanos, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, the Hulkbuster armor and much more.

Whedon dropped several interesting teasers about Avengers: Age Of Ultron and its subtitular bad guy. While Whedon is a director that sticks pretty close to the source, it sounds like he’ll be exploring a different side of Ultron since he has the very talented James Spader bringing the A.I. to life. He told the magazine, “I’m having a blast with Ultron. He’s not a creature of logic – he’s a robot who’s genuinely disturbed. We’re finding out what makes him menacing and at the same time endearing and funny and strange and unexpected, and everything a robot never is.” The fan-favorite director also touched on the introduction of at least three new characters (though there are rumors a lot more are coming) and how it’s not just new superheroes and villains for the sake of having some new faces. He explained, “I fiercely dislike the idea of just throwing in more people for the sake of doing that, but last time I had all of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes versus one British character actor, and I needed more conflict. They’re [Scarlet Witch and Quicksiler] not very happy with The Avengers. Their powers are not insignificant and they’re quite different from what the Avengers have faced before.

hulkFeige added a few juicy tidbits of his own about the Avengers sequel. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were introduced at the end of The Winter Soldier, and Baron Strucker‘s comments about this being the “age of miracles” led some to believe that Marvel was using the term in the place of mutants. That doesn’t seem to be the case. Feige says that the tag was intentional and alludes to the fact that Loki‘s staff may be the reason the twins have powers. He says, “I would say that the Age of Miracles, as Strucker says at the end of that tag, could be a part of that, but the key to their origin is in that tag.” More interestingly, the Marvel Studios head honcho talked about that beautiful piece of concept art that was shown during the Marvel movie special shown on ABC last month. He wouldn’t reveal much, but he did say enough to get fans’ excited. He slyly stated “That little tease was very intentional on our part. We found it a very compelling image to throw out there. The specifics around it we don’t have to do for a while. It’s a piece of armour we’ve wanted to see on screen for a long time, let’s put it that way. What is the Hulkbuster suit built for?

While Age of Ultron was the main focus of the write-up, Feige also gave some brief updates on the other Marvel movies in production. We know Thanos will play a small, but integral, part of Guardians of the Galaxy, but we don’t know who will be bringing the Mad Titan to life on the big screen. Fiege confirmed that Thanos has been cast, but he’s “not sure we want to announce it yet.” For a long time Doctor Strange has been a pet project of sorts for Feige, and the main man once again talks about the way the supernatural elements will play into the MCU:

There’s a whole other side to the Marvel universe, which is the supernatural side. We’ve always been very interested in this aspect and this is going back to the early days of Strange Tales with Steve Ditko and Stan Lee. I love that stuff. We haven’t done anything that mind-trippy yet and for me, Doctor Strange is our doorway into that.

ant-manFinally, we get a small Ant-Man update. While Feige is keeping details on the film that will soon start production under wraps, he did address the big question about why Hank Pym isn’t involved in Age of Ultron:

It was two things – a story Edgar wanted to tell that we’ll see with Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd, and now we’re 11 films in, it’s looking at the characters we’ve already introduced who already have the technology and the brains to do…certain things [Laughs].

Paul Rudd was an odd choice for Ant-Man (the Scott Lang) version, but fans seemed to accept it almost immediately after it was announced. Feige touched on why Rudd was a good choice, saying “Look at that origin of the petty crook who comes into contact with a suit and does his best to make good, and then look at someone like Paul Rudd, who can do slightly unsavoury things like break into people’s houses and still be charming and who you root for and whose redemption you will find satisfaction in.

While Rudd is playing Ant-Man now, there was an original Ant-Man by the name of Hank Pym. The original Ant-Man will be played by Michael Douglas in Edgar Wright‘s film. Pym is one of the smartest men in the Marvel comic’s universe, but Tony Stark seems to be the smartest when it comes to the movies. Feige was asked if Pym will be seen as the “original Stark.” Don’t worry, he won’t be. The Marvel Studios president said “He’s certainly older. Original Tony Stark? In that he is an inventor and a scientist, but he has a very different demeanor that Tony and a very different ego, even when he was younger.” So there you go. Updates on pretty much every Marvel movie on the current slate. What do you think about Whedon and Feige‘s comments?

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