Does this make up for Hawkeye being a mindless slave throughout most of The Avengers? Not quite, Joss, not quite. Empire Magazine featured next year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron in its latest issue, showcasing a new costume for Jeremy Renner’s famed archer (below). Director Joss Whedon is included in the shot too, trying his best to show Renner exactly what kind of badass fighting stance the actor should be adopting.
The new costume is certainly a more Robin Hood-esque look than the character’s military gear in The Avengers, though whether that’s a good thing or not, I’ll leave up to the fans. Also in the issue, Whedon commented on the use of super-robot Ultron (James Spader) as the sequel’s main antagonist, vaguely explaining of Age of Ultron:
“It’s more epic and in other ways it’s more noirish and suspect and devious and specific,” Whedon teased, before adding: “Ultron…he’s got a touch of the apocalypse in him.”
Not exactly much to go on, I’ll admit, but Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige also had some comments about the upcoming blockbuster. Talking about the choice to follow an Ultron storyline in this sequel, Feige said:
“Ultron was the villain Joss wanted, from midway through production on the first film, to have serious repercussions for The Avengers. We unveiled a poster here which is nothing but Ultron after Ultron after Ultron clawing at the beginning to defeat all of our Avengers. That’s what a lot of this movie is about.”
And if a killer robot wasn’t enough, the Avengers will also find themselves going mano-a-mano with one another. Specifically, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is forced to don the Hulkbuster armor to take down a rampaging Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Feige called the armor “a bespoke suit” and added that it was “the back-up plan in case things go awry.” Whedon elaborated:
“The Hulkbuster is from after my time [as a reader], but even I knew what a big deal it was. It makes sense because there’s no one who can really go up against Hulk, but more importantly, those guys are best friends, so what that battle is and what it means is fascinating to me.”
One reason Whedon is so beloved by geeks is that he understands how to meld massive action spectacle and deeply relatable emotion, and it’s comments like the above one that remind us all of that. Here’s hoping the story he’s set up for this sequel allows him to deliver another superhero movie as terrific as the first Avengers.
Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1st, 2015.