Joss Whedon On Casting James Spader In The Avengers Sequel

He 'was my first and only choice' for Ultron

Unlike some recent casting announcements (one of several controversial examples we’ve chronicled in a handy feature because we’re just that good to you), the news that James Spader will be playing malignant mechanoid Ultron in Avengers: Age Of Ultron was greeting positively despite the seemingly left-field choice. Joss Whedon has now explained to Marvels’ in-house team why he picked the actor for the part. And it’s not because Spader threatened to send William Shatner round to sing in front of Joss’s house if he didn’t get the role.

"Spader was my first and only choice,” is how Whedon puts it in the video. “He's got that hypnotic voice that can be eerily calm and compelling, but he's also very human and humorous. Ultron is not HAL. Spader can play all of the levels. He's the guy to break the Avengers into pieces." There was apparently a maniacal laugh included in the statement, because that’s just how Joss rolls.

Ultron, in case you weren’t aware, is a threat torn from the pages of Marvel comic lore and given a spit-and-polish origin story for the big screen (Ant-Man Hank Pym invented him on the page, but it appears Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark will accidentally create him in the Avengers sequel). Ultron is a criminally insane, sentient robot dedicated to conquest and the extermination of humanity. He comes loaded with several powers, including strength, agility, stunning intelligence and, oh yes, a rage-filled loathing for our heroes and a determination to destroy them.

Downey Jr. will be back alongside usual suspects Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans and probably Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner, along with new recruit Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch if she signs on. Avengers: Age Of Ultron is set to arrive here on May 1, 2015.

In related Marvel movie news – since the video also mentions new Thor: The Dark World posters – there is a petition going to demand a solo Loki film. Currently, the campaign stands at more than 15,000 signatures, so if a Totally Tom movie is what you crave, perhaps you should consider adding your voice to the army’s cry…