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FIRST LOOK: Ultron, Iron Man and Captain America in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we now have our first look at Ultron, the titular villain in next summer's Avengers: Age of Ultron. The magazine's Comic-Con issue features Ultron (voiced by and played by James Spader through motion-capture), Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Chris Evans as Captain America.

EW also revealed a good chunk of the plot that drives Avengers: Age of Ultron.

The good guys are tired, S.H.I.E.L.D. has been destroyed, and there’s no one else for the planet to turn to when menace looms on the horizon. Everyone wants a break—and that’s exactly how they’re about to be broken. There’s no abdicating heroism.

“What you said about abdication is apt, but I think it’s also about recognizing limitations,” Robert Downey Jr. says. “The downside of self-sacrifice is that if you make it back, you’ve been out there on the spit and you’ve been turned a couple times and you feel a little burned and traumatized.”For better or worse (trust us, it’s worse), his Tony Stark has devised a plan that won’t require him to put on the Iron Man suit anymore, and should allow Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the Hulk to get some much needed R-and-R as well. His solution is Ultron, self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence designed to help assess threats, and direct Stark’s Iron Legion of drones to battle evildoers instead.

The only problem? Ultron (played by James Spader through performance-capture technology) lacks the human touch, and his superior intellect quickly determines that life on Earth would go a lot smoother if he just got rid of Public Enemy No. 1: Human beings. “Ultron sees the big picture and he goes, ‘Okay, we need radical change, which will be violent and appalling, in order to make everything better’; he’s not just going ‘Muhaha, soon I’ll rule!’” Whedon says, rubbing his hands together.

“He’s on a mission,” the filmmaker adds, and smiles thinly. “He wants to save us.”

The hard part about battling Ultron, as the cover image suggests, is that he’s not just a robot—he’s a program, capable of uploading himself and disappearing not into the clouds but the Cloud. And he has a bad habit of rebuilding himself into stronger and more fearsome physical forms.

Well, now we know how Marvel Studios plans to write around the fact that Hank Pym won't be Ultron's creator in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's pretty amazing to see how much previous films have set up the plot going into Age of Ultron — Tony Stark's autonomous Iron Man suits in Iron Man 3, the destruction of SHIELD and the launch of an AI system that targets threats in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Hopefully Warner Bros. is taking careful notes when it comes to doing the same with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.
FIRST LOOK: Ultron, Iron Man and Captain America in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 7/16/2014 Rating: 5

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