For better or worse (trust us, it’s worse), his Tony Stark has devised a plan that won’t require him to put on the Iron Man suit anymore, and should allow Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the Hulk to get some much needed R&R as well. His solution is Ultron, self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence designed to help assess threats, and direct Stark’s Iron Legion of drones to battle evildoers instead.
The only problem? Ultron (played by James Spader through performance-capture technology) lacks the human touch, and his superior intellect quickly determines that life on Earth would go a lot smoother if he just got rid of Public Enemy No. 1: Human beings. “Ultron sees the big picture and he goes, ‘Okay, we need radical change, which will be violent and appalling, in order to make everything better’; he’s not just going ‘Muhaha, soon I’ll rule!’” Whedon says, rubbing his hands together.
“He’s on a mission,” the filmmaker adds, and smiles thinly. “He wants to save us.”
The hard part about battling Ultron, as the cover image suggests, is that he’s not just a robot—he’s a program, capable of uploading himself and disappearing not into the clouds but the Cloud. And he has a bad habit of rebuilding himself into stronger and more fearsome physical forms.
Magazine scans of the Entertainment Weekly Age of Ultron feature have been added to the gallery thanks to my friend Claudia.
This Week’s Cover: Our 2014 #SDCC preview gives you an exclusive first look at the big, bad robot causing all the grief in ‘#Avengers: Age of Ultron’—Marvel’s biggest movie ever. Photo Credit: Marco Grob/Marvel 2014.
On Red’s scars seen in the Season 1 finale: “I hope it did not answer the question [of whether Red is Liz's father] for the viewers. It tells us there is story yet to come about what the truth is about whether or not he is her father. This season, we’re going to take the opportunity to ask and answer that question in ways that will get us closer to the ultimate truth.”
On what Season 2 will focus on: “Last season, I think some of the most successful individual moments were when James Spader’s character expressed some remorse or bittersweet memories about his family or the loss or things that he experienced in the past. This year, we will explore more of his life with his family, what that was like, and bring that into the present and sort of explore relationships with people who he was incredibly close with in the past and who he hasn’t been with in a long time.
On James Spader not receiving an Emmy nomination: “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. I think he’s certainly deserving of it. But the competition is fierce. … I was disappointed, but I understand how that happens and we just have to continue to do the best show we can and hope we’re on long enough for people to reconsider the decisions they made this year. … But 17 million people watch ‘The Blacklist.’ That we didn’t get Emmy nominations that I may or may not think we should have gotten is a minor bump in the road. We’re incredibly lucky.”
On the chemistry between Boone and Spader: “Luck. We cast Megan first and we cast her for various reasons, one being that the part we knew was going to require a great deal of introspection, ultimately a journey that was very painful emotionally and she brought an incredible amount of that the first day we saw her. We were trying to find the person to play Red at the time and we offered the job to many actors who turned us down before we managed to get James to do the show, so I would be lying if I said, ‘Oh well, we knew all along he was the only one we were going to cast.’ It was as much luck as anything. … But the parts were written so clearly by Jon Bokenkamp that once we were able to find people to embody those parts, it felt like a natural that the two people we ended up with, who were truly Red and Liz, went together the way they did.”
Eisendrath also confirms that Tom’s fate will be explored in Season 2, though not necessarily revealed immediately. The premiere episode won’t pick up immediately either, a small amount of time will have elapsed between the Season 1 finale and the Season 2 premiere. And we haven’t seen the last of Peter Stormare as Berlin.
He also tells Zap2it that Nos. 1-7 on the Blacklist have not yet been determined by the creators (remember that Berlin was No. 8), but he jokes that perhaps we’ve given him a good idea for the season finales — each year can countdown to No. 1.
Marvel is going to have their panel at Comic-Con in Hall H again this year and it’s possible that Mr. Spader will be in attendance there as well due to his role as Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron. The official announcement is pretty vague but hopefully we will hear more soon.
Marvel will take the stage once more at Comic-Con International’s Hall H in San Diego Saturday, July 26 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. PT, where Marvel Studios President and Producer Kevin Feige and special guests will provide an inside look at the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe!
NBC and Universal Television have announced their plans for the upcoming Comic-Con International gathering in San Diego, which runs from July 24-27.
The network will present panels for returning series “The Blacklist” and “Hannibal” while Universal Television will host panels for NBC’s “Grimm,” its A&E series “Bates Motel” as well as a new untitled series coming to Adult Swim that stars Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and “30 Rock” alumnus Jack McBrayer. Also, Warner Bros. Television will present multiple screenings and a panel for new NBC Friday night series “Constantine.”
To discuss its phenomenal first season, as well as what’s ahead for season two, Raymond “Red” Reddington himself, James Spader, will headline “The Blacklist” panel on Saturday, July 26 at 1:45 p.m. in room 6A. In addition to Spader, executive producers Jon Bokenkamp and John Eisendrath will participate in the panel, which will be moderated by TV Guide’s Michael Schneider.
The No. 1 new series of the 2013-14 season, “The Blacklist” will take over Tin Fish Restaurant at Gaslamp Square (Thursday-Sunday). Fans will be able to get on “The Blacklist” via a custom photo opportunity and also receive “Blacklist” souvenirs.
Do you have any scoop on the new season of The Blacklist? — Charlie
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, right? Red Reddington will learn that the hard way when a ruthless female Mossad agent who’s been hunting him for some time finally tracks him down. But even though Red will once again get the best of his enemy, I hear it’s not all bad news for her. After all, there is a vacant slot on Red’s team…
Screencaptures, production stills and posters of Mr. Spader in the 2009 movie production Shorts have been added to the gallery. Thanks goes to my friend Carmel for the screencaptures.
HD screencaptures, posters, behind the scenes pictures and production stills of Mr. Spader in the 1994 movie production Stargate have been added to the gallery.