‘Avengers 2′ Star James Spader on Ultron: “He’s Bats–t Crazy!”
As the 'Avengers 2' trailer leaked online last night (about six days earlier than planned), we got our first look at Marvel's latest (and biggest) villain, Ultron, in action. Set to the creepy tune of Pinocchio's "I've Got No Strings," we got to see a little bit of what Ultron is all about (straight up world domination). And, fresh off that first look, James Spader - the voice and actor behind Ultron - has some harsh words about his cinematic counterpart: "He's really batshit crazy!"
Spader spoke to Total Film about his returning NBC series 'The Blacklist' but talk inevitably turned to his role as the big silver villain at the center of 'Avengers 2.' Comparing the two characters, he says, "Red isn't psychopathic but Ultron is. Yes, he is psychopathic."
Besides the obvious "strings" metaphor of a robot declaring freedom from his creator, it turns out the Pinocchio song might have even a little more meaning to the character. Spader describes Ultron as really nothing but a child. Like the Joffrey of robots.
There's a humorous aspect to him, which is something that drew me in from the very first conversation I had with Joss [Whedon]. In many ways he's a child, this character, because he's a brand new being who's just come to be. And yet, through artificial intelligence, he has an incredible capacity for knowledge. So he's a very powerful, smart child.
This matches up with what Whedon first said back when Spader was hired:
Spader was my first and only choice. He’s got that hypnotic voice that can be eerily calm and compelling, but he’s also very human and humorous. Ultron is not Hal. Spader can play all of the levels. He’s the guy to break The Avengers into pieces. Muwahaha.
Eerily calm, humorous, completely evil...all vibes we're getting from that 'Avengers 2' trailer. And, don't think this is just Spader's voice (as great as that voice is). He performed the motion-capture work on set and head scans and body scans were used to create the CG behind the character. So, this is very much a full performance, not unlike what an Andy Serkis is doing in the 'Planet of the Apes' movies.
'Avengers 2' opens in theaters on Mat 1, 2015.