He’s been the soothing, snarky voice of Tony Stark’s helpful A.I. Jarvis for years, but it appears Paul Bettany is ready to step out of the recording booth and on to the screen for The Avengers: Age Of Ultron. According to the Mail’s Baz Bamigboye – and seemingly confirmed by the big US trade papers – Bettany will be playing android Avenger The Vision in the new film.
There has been no official announcement, however, so this one will have to tiptoe along the tightrope between rumour and fact until there is an actual confirmation, but given that Bettany has been spotted at the UK production facility for the film and there are reports of makeup tests under way, this appears closer to the truth than most early speculation.
Intriguingly, the Vision’s origin story lies withbig bad Ultron (to be played in the film by James Spader) who, given the teaser video shown at Comic-Con, may well be linked to Stark and Jarvis as part of the plot. First appearing in the Avengers comic in 1968, the Vision’s a colourfully skinned droid created by Ultron as a weapon to be used against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. But he overcame his programming, and ended up helping them. Heck, he even went on to marry Scarlett Witch. How much of that origin will be filtered through in the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains to be seen, but Bettany’s casting would represent yet another fine addition to what is already a great cast.
If the reports pan out, Bettany joins Spader, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen (who will be Scarlet Witch), Thomas Kretschmann and Don Cheadle on the roster, and while there is an argument to be made that the cast is becoming overstuffed, writer-director Joss Whedon has more than earned the patience to see what he does with the talented types assembling. He’ll kick off shooting next month, ready for a May 1, 2015 release.
Bettany will next be seen in Wally Pfister’s Transcendence (due April 25) and has reunited with that film’s star, Johnny Depp, for Mortdecai. He’s also directed his first film, Shelter, which he’s been busy shepherding through post-production.