'Avengers 2' Casts James Spader as Ultron!

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Marvel

So much for those rumors that Paul Bettany (as Jarvis) would be playing Ultron... Marvel announced today that Joss Whedon has cast the maniacal, villainous robot in 'Avengers 2: Age of Ultron' but instead of Bettany (who has voiced Jarvis in all three 'Iron Man' films and 'The Avengers'), we'll instead get...James Spader?

Marvel announced the casting news on their own site with little follow-up information. He will obviously voice Ultron, but will he also perform some form of motion-capture? Will he be on set in a mo-cap suit with little ping-pong balls all over it? More details to come as people track down Joss Whedon and beg for answers. (Don't know much about Ultron? Find out more about the character with our refresher course here.)

It's a surprising bit of news as the Bettany/Jarvis rumors heated up yesterday and everyone began to assume they were true. After all, the Comic-Con teaser showed the Iron Man helmet being transformed into the Ultron helmet, which led many to believe that Tony Stark's A.I. would go rogue and turn into Ultron. That seems like the most obvious 'Avengers 2' arc, but does the casting of James Spader change that?

Whedon could still very well use the plot point that Stark inadvertently creates Ultron, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Jarvis would have to be the sentient voice (both literal and figurative) behind him. Or, maybe none of us have any idea what's going on and Whedon has more secrets up his sleeve than we can possibly imagine. Maybe Bruce Banner creates Ultron?

As for Spader, he was last seen in Steven Spielberg's 'Lincoln' and can be seen this fall on the new NBC series 'The Blacklist' (which has previously been described as 'Silence of the Lambs' meets 'Homeland').

So, what do you think of this casting? Spader certainly has the voice and the gravitas to pull off Ultron and it's certainly something no one was expecting. It may be out of left field, but that's precisely why we like it. While everyone is preoccupied with Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor simply because they've seen him play bald before, Marvel continues to cast outside of the box and that is one of the major reasons why they've seen such success.

'Avengers 2: Age of Ultron' opens in theaters on May 1, 2015.

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