Unless you’ve sequestered yourself from the geek world since last summer (in which case you have my deepest sympathies), you know that James Spader will be playing the robotic megalomaniac Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Spader will be voicing and providing motion capture for the character, but just because he’s a robot doesn’t mean he’ll be speaking in a monotonous tone. In a recent interview, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige stated that Spader will be giving Ultron plenty of personality and attitude in his performance.
I think people are going to very, very excited to see what we’re doing with the voice that Joss [Whedon] is bringing to life with James Spader for Ultron. We love Ultron from the comics, and have always loved Ultron, and at no point do we want him to just be a robot. We want him to have an extreme personality and attitude, and James Spader is doing an unbelievable job. Again, for us it’s always about subverting expectations. Whenever you think you know what’s coming next, we surprise people or deliver it in a slightly unexpected way. And Spader is doing that with Mr. Ultron.
Feige also revealed in the interview that although the upcoming Marvel special Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe promises a sneak peek at Avengers: Age of Ultron, we won’t see much in the way of footage, although he still promises a few surprises.
They’re advertising it as a first look, and that is an honest statement. We don’t start filming for another week and a half, so you’re not going to have a lot of first-unit footage because it doesn’t exist yet. But you certainly get more than just a peek at some of the new fun things we have in store.
Considering that Ultron has always had a god complex in the comics, it’s a relief to hear that Spader will be giving his voice some flair rather than just go the emotionless electronic voice route. After all, if they wanted Ultron to act like a typical robot, they wouldn’t have hired a high-profile actor like Spader to come on board. Maybe one of the sneak peeks in this TV special might be a sampling of Spader’s Ultron voice. What would be even better is seeing the designs for the robot’s look.