Continuing our ongoing look at how the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier affect the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), today we will discuss just what that means for Avengers: Age of Ultron.
We’ve spent the week talking about Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and how it affects the various Marvel Studios properties like Agents of SHIELD and the MCU at large. Today we are going to talk about what that means for the remainder of Marvel’s Phase Two.
So far we’ve seen a number of sequels in Marvel’s Phase Two, including Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and of course Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Next up is James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which to be honest, isn’t overly affected by the events of The WInter Soldier. GotG wil be the first Marvel Studios film to not feature character’s involved in Cap’s particular circle of Avengers, and the only film in Phase Two that isn’t a sequel. Which brings us to the final film of Phase Two.
That film was announced at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con by director Joss Whedon, who revealed the films title – Avengers: Age of Ultron. Fans rejoiced at the choice of villain, although some were concerned about the apparent origins of Ultron, considering creator Hank Pym (in the comics at least) won’t appear in the MCU until Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man in Phase Three. We will discuss today how some of the events of The Winter Soldier might factor in to this new cinematic origin, along with other key moments of the film.
Those who stuck around to see the mid-credits scene (and seriously, if you don’t hang around through the credits in a Marvel movie by now, you’ll never learn) were lucky enough to see a teaser for a few characters that will feature heavily in Avengers: Age of Ultron. First was Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who we discussed briefly yesterday. Thomas Kretschmann, who plays the leader of Hydra is signed on for a few future Marvel films.
Introduced alongside Strucker were “the twins” Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, more commonly known as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, respectively. The twins are played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, and are destined to join Cap and the Avengers at some point in the film. This teaser is the most direct connection to Avengers: Age of Ultron, but far from the only one.
The Winter Soldier‘s Project Insight relied on three advanced helicarriers, which were tasked by the Zola algorithm that identified potential threats to Hydra, including Bruce Banner and Stephen Strange, who is rumored to appear in Phase Three. These helicarriers were also upgraded by repulsor tech created by Tony Stark/Iron Man, marking the latest corruption of Stark-tech in the MCU, but not the first by any means.
The entire Iron Man cinematic storyline has been based around the corruption of Stark’s genius and inventions, including the arc reactor that powered his heart, the armor he created, and even the Extremis formula he unknowingly assisted with. The helicarriers of Project Insight follow this theme pretty well, which Avengers: Age of Ultron is sure to latch on to considering Stark is now set up as the potential creator of Ultron.
But why would he create Ultron? And in what form would this villain take? Speculation since the various announcements have assumed that Ultron would begin life as a corrupted version of J.A.R.V.I.S., Stark’s personal artificial intelligence. Or that the Ultron program would be a form of AI tasked with operating as a type of security to work with or possibly replace S.H.I.E.L.D., which we saw the fall of in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
However the origin plays out, the inclusion of an AI of some sort is pretty much a given. And we’ve already seen an interesting type of AI feature pretty heavily in The Winter Soldier in the form of Arnim Zola. Zola’s brainwaves were mapped out using a bank of antiquated computers, creating essentially the first AI in the MCU. Whereas J.A.R.V.I.S. is more of an original personality created by Stark (to the best of our MCU knowledge), Zola’s AI is dependent on the original’s brainwaves for its personality. One key factor in Ultron’s creation and origin in the comics, is that it’s robotic AI was also coupled with the brainwaves of its creator, Hank Pym.
Now we are possibly seeing a collision of the technologies seen in Iron Man and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which could all factor into the creation of Ultron, who we would presume would be created using the brainwaves of its creator, Tony Stark. This line of reasoning also applies towards the Avenger known as Vision, who will be played by Paul Bettany in Age of Ultron. Bettany, who also voices J.A.R.V.I.S., and the character of Vision hasn’t seen too much revealed at this point, but looking the comics we again see this process of using brainwaves to create the unique personality of the synthezoid known as Vision.
While a lot of these building blocks are assumed pieces of the Ultron origin that will presumably drive the story of Age of Ultron, with the connectivity of the MCU being what it is across the various films, it’s not out of this world to predict the connection. We have heard from the various masterminds of the MCU, including Kevin Fiege, that Captain America: The Winter Soldier directly sets up the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, which we can clearly see in further examination of the film.
We’ve got another day left in our week-long geekfest over Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so be sure to check back tomorrow as we take a look at what we might see in Captain America 3.
Images: Marvel Studios, Marvel Comics