The Avengers sequel has its villain. James Spader will play Ultron in The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Marvel announced today online. A fixture of the Marvel universe for decades, the evil robotic Ultron has repeatedly fought the Avengers collectively and individually in attempts to take over the world. At Comic-Con this year, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige announced the title of the upcoming Avengers tentpole and who the villain would be. Disney will release the Joss Whedon-directed sequel on May 1, 2015. Last seen on the big screen in Lincoln, Spader returns to the small screen September 23 as the star of NBC’s new drama The Blacklist. Spader is repped by ICM Partners and attorney Melanie Cook at Ziffren Brittenham.
In the final moments of Marvel’s rousing panel at Hall H, Marvel chief Kevin Feige brought out Joss Whedon, who showed a very early teaser of the sequel The Avengers and revealed that the film will be called Age Of Ultron with a May 1, 2015 release date. Marvel Comics aficionados might know that the title and the baddie Ultron are the subject of 10-issue limited series comic book crossover storyline published by Marvel Comics that involves the return of Ultron and his conquest of the earth. Ultron and his Sentinels should prove a worthy antagonist for the Avengers and it looked like all will be back though there was no mention of Vin Diesel, who is rumored to be in line to play The Vision. The comic series was published between March and June 2013 and features a storyline by Brian Michael Bendis. Artist Bryan Hitch provided the art for issues one through five, and Brandon Peterson for issues six through eight. Other artists who contributed to the series include Carlos Pacheco and Joe Quesada, the latter of whom drew part of the final issue.
After DC’s announcement earlier today that the sequel to Man of Steel would be a Superman/Batman team up, the pressure was on for Marvel to top that bombshell during their own Hall H Comic Con panel. Marvel delivered with the announcement of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but it wasn’t just Avengers news that electrified the assembled throngs of fanboys and fangirls. Marvel put on a highly theatrical presentation that featured never before seen footage of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World, and Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as some of the most elaborate fan service seen at this year’s Comic Con courtesy of Loki actor Tom Hiddleston.
After a brief introduction from panel moderator Chris Hardwick and Feige, Hiddleston came onstage dressed in character as Loki to present new footage from Thor: The Dark World. “Silence, you mewling quims,” a scenery chewing Hiddleston said, referencing The Avengers‘ most notorious line of dialogue. Delivering a speech based heavily on his lines from the blockbuster, Hiddleston exhorted the crowd to shout his name. The Thor footage included scenes previously seen in the recent teaser, but mainly offered a much expanded look at the film’s larger scope. It was small on actual plot details but demonstrated that Marvel intends to keep doing what has worked for them for the last 5 years.
Ross Lincoln contributes to Deadline’s Comic-Con coverage.
Andrew Garfield revealed today that the Spider-Man story he’d most like to see made into a film is one that is legally impossible, at least for the moment. “I’d love to see [Spider-Man] with The Avengers,” he said, to audible gasps, during the Sony Pictures panel discussion of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 at Comic-Con. “Wouldn’t that just be awesome? Just saying.”
Sadly for everyone drooling at the prospect of Spider-Man joining that Marvel superhero squad, it’s not going to happen as long as Sony retains the rights to the character. And judging by the presentation during tonight, the company expects to retain them for the foreseeable future. Sony clearly expects Amazing Spider-Man 2 to be a huge hit. During the first half of the discussion, the participants — co-stars Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan and, eventually, Garfield, along with director mark Webb and producers Ari Avad and Matt Tolmach — didn’t even attempt to sell the movie; instead, after a short film depicting him attempting to sneak into Hall H, Garfield appeared dressed and in character as Spider-Man, then spent 10 minutes wisecracking with the cast.
The Weinstein Co.’s Silver Linings Playbook and leading duo Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper came up big at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards, nabbing Best Female Performance, Best Male Performance, and Best Kiss at the annual fan-driven ceremony. Marvel’s The Avengers took home three awards including Movie Of The Year, while host Rebel Wilson and her breakout summer pic Pitch Perfect also garnered kudos. Meanwhile, Taylor Lautner of Summit’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 snagged a win out of the film’s lone nomination: Best Shirtless Performance. Here’s the full list of winners, highlighted in bold:
As part of an ongoing review to ensure that the Studios’ operational structure and economics align with the demands of the current marketplace, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our staffing levels in several divisions of the Studio.
PREVIOUS, MONDAY AM: Disney shares are trading around their all-time high. But Wednesday looks like the day Disney will drop the ax for its expected layoffs. I have learned that about 150 people at Walt Disney Studios will receive pink slips. Sources say the cuts will come from across all of Disney Studios businesses, including the music and NYC-based theatre departments. At this point it looks like a one-time round of layoffs, but an overall reorganization affecting other divisions is planned for later this year and that could include more cuts. They’re coming as a result of an internal review ordered late last year by CEO Bob Iger and CFO Jay Rasulo to pinpoint superfluous positions and increase efficiency. But the company is already doing well with mega-blockbusters including The Avengers. Net profits for the fiscal year that ended in September increased 18% to $5.7 billion on revenues of $42.3 billion.
Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor.
After the huge success of Disney and Marvel Studios‘ The Avengers, the continuation of the Marvel movie universe has been a fait accompli. In addition to Iron Man 3 and the sequels to Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor, already planned prior to The Avengers, several new films exploiting lesser known Marvel Characters, most notably Guardians Of The Galaxy and Ant Man have been greenlit. Left untapped is a third attempt to make a successful Incredible Hulk movie, particularly noticeable after Mark Ruffalo‘s performance as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in The Avengers emerged as that film’s most celebrated success. There’s been a wave of speculation and rumor that a Ruffalo-starring Hulk film is under consideration, but that conversation can be put to rest – for now – as Ruffalo took to Twitter to pour cold water on the prospect. “A lot of folks have been asking about the Next Hulk. The next time you see my Hulk it will be in the Avengers2. No plans for stand alone.” In a follow up to that tweet, he did make it clear that the door isn’t closed, adding “I am not giving up on another stand alone HULK. But it’s not in the works right now. One never knows what the future will bring.” Regardless, it would seem, for now, that a new Hulk film is not in the cards.
With a filmography that includes roles in some of the highest-grossing movies of all time including The Avengers, Iron Man and the Star Wars series Samuel L. Jackson clearly knows how to pick ‘em. And that is entirely intentional. …
Considering that Marvel pays its actors next to nothing, this must be ‘Hawkeye’ Jeremy Renner’s revenge. Too bad this skit isn’t more badass:
Stan Lee Media, Inc. wants the profits from the $5.5 billion it says the Walt Disney Company has made from superhero movies and merchandise based on characters created by Stan Lee. Those characters include Iron Man, Spider-Man, most of The Avengers, The X-Men and more. “Defendant The Walt Disney Company has represented to the public that it, in fact, owns the copyright to these characters as well as to hundreds of other characters created by Stan Lee. Those representations made to the public by The Walt Disney Company are false,” says the company’s copyright infringement complaint filed today (read it here) in a Colorado court. SLMI, which Lee himself has nothing to do with nowadays, is seeking “the maximum statutory damages allowable” plus full control over Iron Man, Spider-Man and other characters. A failed party to past litigation with Lee himself and Marvel, SLMI also is seeking a jury trial in this case.
Marvel proclaimed today that “something massive is smashing into mobile”. That was the mega-secretive company’s way of an announcement on their website in the Games News section. Beyond that, this illustration, and a “stay tuned” message, there are few details. No clue if this is related to the Marvel: War …
Only two of eight major movies released last month are clearly destined to make a profit — and one of them is, surprise!, Marvel’s The Avengers — according to SNL Kagan’s latest monthly tally. The firm …