Even with promising new footage for their new projects, star-studded panels, and an in-character appearance by Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Marvel Studios still took the lower-key approach to Comic-Con this past weekend, favoring elaboration over any earth-shattering announcements. One of these, the reveal of Ultron as the villain in “The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron” clarified a piece of the film’s plot, but director Joss Whedon insists it won’t barge into another planned Marvel property.
A comic creation of Roy Thomas and artist John Buscema, Ultron is a living automaton and creator of another franchise foe, The Vision (heavily rumored to be played by Vin Diesel). In the comics, Ultron’s origins stem from Avenger Hank Pym AKA Ant-Man, who built the menacing robot and stands as director Edgar Wright‘s upcoming Marvel effort; while cross-appearances in the films are nothing new, Whedon stated that that might not be the case with his.
“We don’t have to have him. It works very simply — this is Marvel cinema, not Marvel comics,” said Whedon, talking to io9. “One thing [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige has a genius for is knowing what to hold onto and what to let go of. You can invoke the feeling you had and play with the characters you love and remain true to the needs of the film.”
Naturally this decision will alter Ultron’s origin story, and the director explained to HeyUGuys that he’s not worried about sticking strictly to canon. “A lot of people—because we called it Age of Ultron and there was a book, Age of Ultron just recently—assumed that was the storyline we are doing, which is not the case. We’re doing our own version of the origin story of Ultron,” he explained. “The other thing is, in the origin story, there was Hank Pym. So a lot of people assumed that he was going to be in the mix, but he’s not. Because we’re basically taking the things from the comics for the movies that we need and can use. A lot of stuff has to fall by the wayside. Ultron was their chief villain. He’s been the Avengers villain for so long. I was amazed anybody was surprised that it was going to be him in the movie. We are crafting our own version of it where his origin comes more directly from the Avengers we already know about.”
Meanwhile, the always enthusiastic but cagey Kevin Feige spoke with IGN in San Diego, and confirmed the rumors that Thanos would be appearing in “Guardians Of The Galaxy,” and perhaps beyond. He also adds that Ultron won’t be seen in any films before “The Avengers 2.” Lots to chew on here as Marvel continues to build their cinematic comic universe.