The Internet exploded two days ago when Marvel officially unveiled its first trailer for the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron, and now that our immediate, all-consuming glee has worn off, it’s time to start analyzing every frame of that awesome preview. We’ve already given you our six reasons why the trailer is so tremendously exciting, but now we’re tackling one particularly interesting question raised by the fotoage – namely, who the hell is Andy Serkis playing??
The Lord of the Rings actor pops up for a brief second (above), clad in a scruffy beard. And while he’s nowhere to be seen for the rest of the preview, and the snapshot offers no information about his relationship to other characters, the sneak peek was more than enough to get the ball rolling on fan speculation.
Currently, the prevailing theory is that Serkis is taking on the role of Ulysses Klaw, an adversary of the Black Panther, prince of the African nation of Wakanda. Sure, outside of some facial similarities, there’s not much to base this on, but it makes sense if you think about it.
Though Marvel has yet to even officially announce that Black Panther is in the works, there have been some hints dropped throughout past films that suggest the fan favorite superhero will soon appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (for one, a map of the world glimpsed during Iron Man 2 featured seven different pinpointed locations, including one in Africa later confirmed by director Jon Favreau to be Wakanda).
Additionally, part of Age of Ultron is placed within Africa, which may bring the Avengers into contact with Klaw or even the Black Panther himself (though that latter possibility would be a total shock, considering actor Chadwick Boseman, the long-time frontrunner for the role, has yet to confirm or deny that he has committed to anything).
Finally, the preview shows Captain America’s shield, made from vibranium, shattered on the ground. That shocking image would suggest that baddie Ultron has succeeded in harnessing the properties of vibranium for himself – and given that the precious metal is native only to Wakanda, the super-robot’s search for it would be a handy way to bring Klaw and the Black Panther into the mix.
Tell us, do you think that Serkis is playing Klaw? All will be answered for sure in due time – Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1st next year.