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We're about to start getting a flood of information on "The Avengers: Age Of Ultron" as they cast the remaining roles, and I'm curious to see how Marvel handles things. There are plenty of surprises left to be revealed, and major characters that haven't been mentioned at all yet in public, and I have no idea how they're going to reveal things. Will they say who they're casting these people to play, or are they going to be coy about it for as long as possible? And if they do try to play it low-key, how successful are they going to be?
For example, Latino Review just broke the news that Baron Von Strucker is going to be part of the film. In the Marvel comics, he's a leader of H.Y.D.R.A., which is sort of the evil version of S.H.I.E.L.D., and he's a particularly nasty ex-Nazi who has augmented himself to theoretically live forever. When David Goyer did that TV movie version of "Nick Fury: Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D." with David Hasselhoff as the star, Baron Von Strucker was the bad guy. He also made frequent appearances in the animated series "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes." He has a long history of facing off against the Avengers in the comics, and it makes perfect sense that he'd make his way into the Marvel Movie Universe eventually.
In "Age Of Ultron," Baron Von Strucker is the initial threat, the guy they're fighting at the start of the film. He does not have a major ongoing role in the film, but he is responsible for bringing Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch into contact with the Avengers in the first place, since they start the film working either with or or the Baron. If you look at this like a James Bond movie, Von Strucker's the bad guy they'll take care of in the pre-credits sequence before they move into the main story. Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch have a complicated journey in this film, and the question of whether they're good or bad is one of the big things driving the movie overall.
This is a good indication of just how far Whedon's pushing things this time, though. The first "Avengers" felt like he was figuring out just how far he could push the comic book reality of things, and with "Age Of Ultron," you're going to see what happens when he's comfortable and feels like he's got room to play. In general, I feel like Marvel is getting ready to really start pushing the boundaries and seeing how much further they can take things, and "Age Of Ultron" sets such a strong table for Phase Three that it feels like they're about to evolve into a whole new company.
One thing's for sure… the Marvel Movie Universe keeps getting bigger, and this is going to be a key step in their plans for the future.
"The Avengers: Age Of Ultron" arrives in theaters May 1, 2015.
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