Welcome to Elizabeth Olsen Source: your best source for all things related to Elizabeth Olsen. Elizabeth's breakthrough came in 2011 when she starred in critically-acclaimed movies Martha Marcy May Marlene and Silent House. She made her name in indie movies until her role in 2014 blockbuster Godzilla and then as Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff in Marvel's Avengersand Captain America movies. Elizabeth starred in and was an Executive Producer for Facebook Watch's "Sorry For Your Loss". She is currently starring in WandaVision, the first Marvel TV Series on Disney+. She will also be in Marvel's Dr. Strange sequel and hopefully we'll see another indie movie from her! Enjoy the many photos(including lots of exclusives!), articles, and videos on our site!
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Avengers: Age of Ultron

  • A new age begins
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Character: Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch
  • Created by: Stan Lee
  • Directed by: Joss Whedon
  • Written by: Joss Whedon
  • Produced by: Victoria Alonso, Louis D'Esposito, Alan Fine, Michael Grillo, Stan Lee, Jon Favreau
  • Cast Members: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson
  • Released date: May 1, 2015
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
  • Duration: 2h 21m
  • When Tony Stark and Bruce Banner try to jump-start a dormant peacekeeping program called Ultron, things go horribly wrong and it's up to Earth's mightiest heroes to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plan.

    Production Images



      Trivia posted is specific to Elizabeth, her character, the whole cast or the whole movie.
      • Because Ultron was eight to nine feet tall, the five-foot ten-inch James Spader had to wear an antenna-like contraption made out of a thick piece of wire, with two red balls attached to the top that went up his entire back and three feet above his head. This was done so that the cast members that shared scenes with him would have a reference point for where his eyes would be. The two red balls represented the placement of Ultron's eyes. Elizabeth Olsen stated that this was actually distracting, because Spader would be giving an intense performance and out of instinct, she would look at him rather than the balls representing his eyes. Much to everyone's amusement, whenever this happened, Aaron Taylor-Johnson would yell "Red balls! Look at his balls, Lizzie!" at her in order to get her to look in the right direction.
      • It took Joss Whedon a year to convince Aaron Taylor-Johnson to accept the role of Quicksilver. Johnson was concerned over the intensity of the Marvel contracts, the time constraints, and the fact that it was going to be such a large cast. Even after he accepted the role, he was still nervous, but was comforted after he learned that his friend, and Godzilla (2014) co-star, Elizabeth Olsen, would be playing his sister, and would be his filming partner throughout most of the movie.
      • The trailer was viewed 34 million times on YouTube in the first 24 hours after it was released. This broke the record that was previously held by Iron Man 3 (2013).
      • Joss Whedon cast Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch because he thought their powers would be cool to use in a film: "Their powers are very visually interesting. One of the problems I had on the first one was everybody basically had punchy powers. Quicksilver's got super-speed, Scarlet Witch can weave spells, and a little telekinesis, get inside your head. That's good stuff they can do, that will help keep it fresh."
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      • “Marvel Ultimates” comic is famous for featuring a controversial incestuous storyline between Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. According to Elizabeth Olsen, while this particular aspect would not be overtly present in the film, she and Aaron Taylor-Johnson “played around” with certain parts of it: “Every time you see an image of them, they’re always holding each other’s hand and looking over each other’s shoulder. They’re always so close, it’s almost uncomfortable. Aaron and I have been playing a little bit with those kinds of images just for ourselves.”
      • Character screen times: Captain America = 50:25 Iron Man = 45:34 Black Widow = 33:07 Quicksilver = 26:43 Bruce Banner/The Hulk = 23:55 Scarlet Witch = 20:59 Hawkeye = 19:56 Thor = 14:18 The Vision = 8:41
      • Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson consulted each other before accepting the roles of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. The two became friends while filming Godzilla (2014), and as soon as they found out that both had offers, they called each other to check if the other was doing it before signing on.
      • The prelude to this film is on the mid-credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).
      • Aaron Taylor-Johnson described his approach to Quicksilver as inspired by the “Marvel Ultimates” comic: “He and his sister have been abandoned by their parents, and they grew up in Eastern Europe defending, and looking out for themselves, and each other. His sister really is his guidance, emotionally she’s the one who looks after him, and vice-versa. He’s very overprotective physically, he doesn’t want anyone touching her.”
      • When Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson learned that their roles Wanda and Pietro Maximoff would be based on their “Marvel Ultimates” version, they both read and studied every single issue in order to prepare for the role.
      • In the comics, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are born mutants. In this movie, they got their powers due to experimentation of HYDRA on them. This change has to do with the fact that 20th Century Fox holds the rights to the X-Men films and the whole mutant concept. Therefore, this change was intended to disassociate the film from the X-Men film franchise to avoid legal issues.
      • Elizabeth Olsen worked with a dance choreographer to make her movements more graceful for action sequences.
      • Joss Whedon described this film as “Smaller. More personal. More painful. The next thing that should happen to these characters, and not just a rehash of what worked the first time. A theme that is completely fresh and organic to itself.”
      • According to Aaron Taylor-Johnson, no one realized that no plans for a wrap-party had been made until the last day of filming. As a result, Joss Whedon gathered the cast at the end of the day and made them walk around the small Italian town in which they were filming, while it snowed heavily, until he found an appropriate place for a party. They finally found a small club and the cast, along with Whedon, danced until four in the morning.
      • Elizabeth Olsen described the Scarlet Witch as unstable: “She has such a vast amount of knowledge, that she’s unable to learn how to control it. No one taught her how to control it properly, so it gets the best of her. It’s not that she’s mentally insane, it’s just that she’s just overly-stimulated, and she can connect to this world, and parallel worlds, at the same time.”
      • Elizabeth Olsen stated in an interview that she is happy that her character’s outfit is not accurate to the comic book, as it would be inappropriate for combat.
      • Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen worked back-to-back with each other, first playing husband and wife in Godzilla (2014), and now brother and sister in this film.
      • (at around 49 mins) When Scarlet Witch tries to mind control Hawkeye, he neutralizes her and quips “I tried the mind control thing. Not a fan!” This is a reference to Jeremy Renner being openly displeased with his character being mind controlled by Loki during most of The Avengers (2012).
      • Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) were announced before the release of this film.
      • To keep production a secret, the working title for the film was “After Party”.
      • Joss Whedon was inspired by The Godfather: Part II (1974): “It’s a very different movie from the first film and a ton The general attire of Pietro and Wanda Maximoff in this film is a tribute to their appearance in X-Men: Evolution (2000), where Pietro had on blue jeans and sports shirts, and Wanda had on a black dress and red coat.
      • (at around 36 mins) During his first meeting with the Maximoffs, Ultron is seen wearing a crimson cloth like a cloak with a hood. In his first appearance (Avengers #54 1968), he wore one throughout the comic, and had the alias of the Crimson Cowl.
      • Shooting in South Korea occurred in the Gangnam district, the area that originated the popular song “Gangnam Style”. The cast and crew danced to that song during breaks.
      • According to visual effects supervisor Christopher Townsend, whenever Scarlet Witch uses her power, either a star or a circle can be seen. This is an homage to the Hex bolts that she has in the Marvel comics, which were in the form of geometric shapes.
      • Saoirse Ronan was considered to play Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. Scarlet Witch.
      • One of the highest grossing opening days ever for any film, hitting around eighty-five million dollars in its first day.
      • This is Chapter Five of Phase Two in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
      • Elizabeth Olsen drew on her relationship with her older brother and her twin sisters to prepare for the role.
      • The first two Avengers movies have a mid-credits scenes about Thanos, in some way expressing his anger towards Earth and the human race; this sets up for Avengers: Infinity War (2018).
      • As of May 17, 2015, it is the third Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to pass one billion dollars worldwide, taking only twenty-four days to do so.
      • The film had the second biggest weekend opening ever, with the biggest opening weekend belonging to The Avengers (2012).
      • Lindsay Lohan auditioned for the role of Wanda Maximoff.
      • First film released in new IMAX Laser 3-D format.
      • (at around 39 mins) When Pietro tells Ultron the story of how he and his sister lost their parents, at the moment Wanda says “Stark” her eyes glow red.
      • Sasha Pieterse was considered for the role of Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. Scarlet Witch.
      • As of Summer 2015, it holds the record for largest share of a weekend box-office, accounting for 84.5 percent of the total taken in by the top twelve grossing films, during its opening weekend.
      • Throughout the whole movie, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are referred to as “The Twins”, “The Enhanced”, “Wanda and Pietro Maximoff”, or “the Maximoffs”.
      • Elizabeth Olsen plays Wanda Maximoff, the fraternal twin of Quicksilver. Olsen is in fact two years older than Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
      • Chris Evans and Aaron Taylor-Johnson share the same birthday, June 13. Coincidentally, Elizabeth Olsen’s sisters, Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen, share this same birthday as well.
      • In this movie, Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) has a twin brother. In real-life, Olsen has two older sisters who are twins, Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen.
      • (at around 1h 55 mins) Pietro mentions to Wanda that he was born twelve minutes before her. In real-life, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Pietro) is two years younger than Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda).
      • Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson, and Josh Brolin appeared in Oldboy (2013).
      • When Wanda was mind warping the Avengers, after she influences Thor, immediately retorts “No one can influence me, for I am Mighty!” The Thor comic had the title “The Mighty Thor”
      • Unlike the comic books, Scarlet Witch doesn’t wear a red suit.
      Spoilers The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
      • The movie sets up future Marvel movies. The presence of Ulysses Klaue and the fictional country of Wakanda sets up Black Panther (2018), Thor’s visions of an apocalyptic event on Asgard and the Infinity Stones sets up Thor: Ragnarok (2017), The assemblance of the New Avengers and departures of Tony Stark and Hawkeye sets up Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Thanos taking the Infinity Gauntlet sets up Avengers: Infinity War (2018).
      • For the first time, a major hero (Quicksilver) dies permanently in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. All other Marvel heroes have either stayed alive, nearly died, or been resurrected.
      • Before the release of the movie, Loki’s scepter was confirmed to house, and be powered by, an Infinity Stone. Many speculated that the Stone in question was the Mind Stone, given how it was used by Loki in The Avengers (2012). Here, it is revealed by Thor himself that Loki’s scepter was in fact the Mind Stone, except it wasn’t the blue gem visible to everyone. The blue gem seen in the previous movie, featuring the scepter, is actually a container for the Mind Stone, while the Stone itself is yellow. In the Comics, however, the Mind Stone is blue.
      • Neither Quicksilver, nor Scarlet Witch, are called by their superhero names in this film. They are referred to as “the Enhanced”, “the Twins”, or their full names Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. However, Tony Stark calls Wanda a witch during his fight with the Hulk.
      • (at around 2h) When The Vision rescues Scarlet Witch, and carries her away, they have a “moment”. In the comics, the two end up married.
      • Scarlet Witch wears a new costume at the end of the film, which is based on her “Uncanny Avengers” uniform (a low-cut blouse and pants, with a coat on top).
      • All of the main, original Avengers in this film are manipulated in some way by Scarlet Witch, with the exception of Hawkeye. Incidentally, Hawkeye was the only member of the original Avengers to be under the mind control of Loki in The Avengers (2012).
      • (at around 1h 45 mins) Foreshadowing Quicksilver’s death, Captain America tells Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver that, “If you get hurt, hurt ’em back, if you get killed, walk it off.” While Cap is saying all this, they switch between showing the three characters, to whom he’s talking. When he says the line “if you get killed, walk it off”, Quicksilver is shown.
      • Long before the release of the movie, Joss Whedon said that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch would not be immediate allies of The Avengers.
      • The Lego sets for the film have spoiled some parts of the movie like the Hulkbuster Lego set, in which Scarlet Witch has caused the Hulk to rampage.
      • In the end of the movie, we can see the new Avengers: Scarlet Witch, Vision, Falcon, and War Machine.
      • (at around 29 mins) Ultron’s very first body (dubbed Ultron Mark 1) resembles a very worn out, heavily damaged endoskeletal Iron Legion drone. However, his limbs appear very asymmetrical. This is because Ultron actually created that first body from the disassembled Iron Legion Drone 03, as well as using other parts, which accounts for the patchwork-esque look. Strangely enough, the robotic bodies seen earlier on before the title card, that later become Ultron’s drones, share this same, asymmetrical aesthetic. In fact, the only one of Ultron’s forms to sport a symmetrical appearance, is the body he has, by the time he meets Wanda and Pietro Maximoff in Sokovia, dubbed “Ultron Prime”.
      • Prior to the release of the film, people were wondering why the Hulk and Iron Man (in Hulkbuster armor) were fighting. One popular theory is that they were simply sparring to see who was stronger. Of course, in the final film, they were fighting because Scarlet Witch manipulated Hulk.

      • Wanda Maximoff: Ultron can't see the difference between saving the world and destroying it. Where do you think he gets that?
      • Ultron: If you stay here, you'll die.
        Wanda Maximoff: I just did. Do you know how it felt?
        [Wanda tears out Ultron's metal heart]
        Wanda Maximoff: It felt like that.
      • [Ultron begins to transfer his mind into an artificial body]
        Wanda Maximoff: [looking at the Cradle] I can read him. He is... dreaming.
        [walks up and touches the Cradle, but after seeing a vision of Earth being destroyed she screams with horror]
        Wanda Maximoff: You said... you said we were going to destroy the Avengers... make a better world!
        Ultron: It will be.
        Wanda Maximoff: When everyone is dead?
        Ultron: That is not... the human race will have every opportunity to improve!
        Wanda Maximoff:And if they don't?
        Ultron: Ask Noah.
      • Clint Barton: Hey. Hey, you okay?
        Wanda Maximoff: This is all our fault.
        Clint Barton: Hey, look at me. It's your fault, it's everyone's fault, who cares. Are you up for this? Are you? Look, I just need to know cause the city is flying. Ok, look, the city is flying, we're fighting an army of robots, and I have a bow and arrow. None of this makes sense. But I'm going back out there cause it's my job. Ok, and I can't do my job and babysit. Doesn't matter what you did, or what you were. If you go out there, you fight and you fight to kill. Stay in here, you're good. I'll send your brother to come find you. But if you step out that door, you are an Avenger. All right, good chat.
      • Wanda Maximoff: Everybody's afraid of something.
        Ulysses Klaue: Cuttlefish! Deep sea fish, they make lights, disco lights, whomp, whomp, whomp, to hypnotize their prey, and then whomp! I saw a documentary; it was terrifying. So, if you're going to fiddle with my brain, and make me see a giant Cuttlefish, then I know you don't do business and I know you're not in charge and I only deal with the man in charge!
        Ultron: [Grabs Klaue, throws him through a wall] There is no MAN in charge... Let's talk business.
      • Wanda Maximoff: You keep stealing, you're going to get shot!... I mean it! At speed, nothing can touch you, but standing still...
      • Wanda Maximoff: I want to finish the mission. I want the big one.
      • Ultron: You're wondering why you can't look inside my head.
        Wanda Maximoff: Sometimes it's hard. But sooner or later, every man shows himself.
        Ultron: Oh, I'm sure they do.
        [he stands and takes off his cloak]
        Ultron: But you needed something more than a man. That's why you let Stark take the sceptre.
        Wanda Maximoff: I didn't expect...
        [nods at Ultron]
        Wanda Maximoff: But I saw Stark's fear. I knew it would control him. Make him self-destruct.
        Ultron: Everyone creates the thing they dread. Men of peace create engines of war. Invaders create avengers. People create... smaller people? Uhh... children!
        Ultron: Lost the word there. Children. Designed to supplant them. Help them... end.
        Wanda Maximoff: Is that why you've come? To end the Avengers?
        Ultron: I've come to save the world! But also... yeah.
    Movie Transcript

    Project Videos

    “Avengers: Age of Ultron” – Deleted Scenes
    A deleted scene between the Maximoff twins before they meet...
    “Avengers: Age of Ultron” – Gag Reel
    Gag Reel from the movie Avengers: Age of Ultron
    “Avengers: Age of Ultron” – Making Of
    Making of Avengers: Age of Ulton Featurette
    “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” – Behind the scenes
    Behind the scenes with Joss Whedon and the cast of...
    “Avengers: Age of Ultron” – Elizabeth’s Scenes – Clip 3
    SPOILERS: After discovering Ultron's plans, The Maximoff twins need to...
    “Avengers: Age of Ultron” – Elizabeth’s Scenes – Clip 2
    SPOILERS: The Twins find an unlikely ally against the Avengers


    The most successful superhero movie of all time gets a super-sized sequel with surprising amounts of soul.

    Three years after saving New York from an alien apocalypse, Marvel’s superhero all-stars once again find the weight of the world — or, at least, an airborne chunk of Eastern Europe — thrust upon their mighty shoulders in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” a super-sized spandex soap opera that’s heavy on catastrophic action but surprisingly light on its feet, and rich in the human-scale emotion that can cut even a raging Hulk down to size. Having gotten over the hump of assembling his six main characters in 2012’s “The Avengers,” returning writer-director Joss Whedon brings a looser, more inventive and stylish touch to this skillful follow-up, which finds our now S.H.I.E.L.D.-less defenders facing off against a man-made enemy more dangerous than any alien life form. Jump-starting the summer movie season on May 1, “Age” may well cool its heels in theaters until the dog days of August, where it stands a very good shot at surpassing the previous film’s $1.5 billion worldwide haul.

    For all its box office muscle (making it the third-highest domestic and global grosser of all time, behind “Avatar” and “Titanic”), “The Avengers” was hardly the most glittering gem in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, arguably more memorable for its snappy banter between caped crusaders than for its two gargantuan, pummeling action setpieces (one on a state-of-the-art aircraft carrier, the other on the streets of Manhattan), which seemed haphazardly stitched together by Whedon and his editors, as if they were being paid by the cut. That movie largely lacked the more intimate, character-building moments that had distinguished the first “Iron Man” and “Captain America” adventures from the superhero herd. But it did have two aces up its vibranium sleeve in the form of Tom Hiddleston’s fratricidal Loki (sinking his teeth into each of Whedon’s faux-Shakespearean lines as though they were ripe, juicy plums) and Mark Ruffalo’s existentially conflicted Dr. Bruce Banner/Hulk, ill at ease in his own body whether green or white.

    Having apparently resolved that one failed Earthly invasion is enough for one millennium, Loki is nowhere to be found in “Age of Ultron,” but even minus his caustic wit, the new movie is a sleeker, faster, funnier piece of work — the sort of sequel (like “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” “Superman II” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” before it) that shrugs off the self-seriousness of its predecessor and fully embraces its inner Saturday-morning serial. Rather than putting all his eggs in one apocalyptic basket, Whedon this time hopscotches the globe from Europe to Africa to Asia and back, staging exuberant mini-cliffhangers as he goes. And if we must once again watch the world end — or come perilously close — “Age of Ultron” at least gives us a more compelling (and plausible) destroyer than yet another galactic supervillain hellbent on domination. Specifically, it gives us that most destructive of all universal forces: man’s own best intentions.

    Before all that, this second chapter plunks us down in the wintry republic of Sokovia, where Captain America (Chris Evans) and the gang raid a mountaintop Hydra base to retrieve Loki’s troublesome scepter from the clutches of Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann, last seen up to no good in the post-credits teaser from last year’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”). It’s there that the team first encounters two new, genetically enhanced foes: the twins Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), he of blinding speed and she of blazing psychic powers — including the ability to infect others with vivid and terrifying waking dreams rooted in their deepest fears. These nifty phantasmagorias allow Whedon to flex his visual imagination in ways that the first “Avengers” never hinted at (think “A Nightmare on Marvel Street”). But a greater threat to the Avengers hides in plain sight much close to home. Its name is Ultron, and it begins life as a kind of ghost in the Stark Industries machine: an artificially intelligent “global peacekeeping initiative” designed to serve as “a suit of armor around the world.” Iron Man, meet Iron Dome.

    As such brainchildren are wont to do in the annals of science fiction (where man routinely suffers for playing God), Ultron enters sentience with some major daddy issues and the temperament of a hormonal adolescent, ready to bite (off) the hand that fed him and then some. When the character of Ultron first appeared in the “Avengers” comics circa 1968, he was the Frankenstein-like creation not of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) but of “Ant-Man’s” Hank Pym. But for the character’s movie debut, Whedon has made him over into a kind kind of power-mad Pinocchio (along with a few sly nods to the 1940 Disney animated classic) who needs no help from a fairy godmother to lance his strings, assemble a makeshift suit of Stark Industries armor, and raise an entire drone army in his own image. (Like father, like son, indeed.) The movie’s visual-effects wizards (a whopping 19 companies are credited) have a grand old time with Ultron’s herky-jerky movements, but James Spader has an even grander one giving voice to the machine-man’s self-aggrandizing sentiments — a diabolical purr that sounds like HAL 9000 reborn as a Vegas lounge lizard.

    Of course, what Ultron wants most of all is to become a real live boy — well, that and to turn a sizable chunk of Sokovia into a meteorite to be hurled back at the Earth like a fast ball down the middle. But even as billions of lives hang in the balance, “Age of Ultron” takes (welcome) time out to show us what our Avengers do when they aren’t busy avenging. In the case of Banner and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), that makes for a nicely hesitant romance between savage man-beast and the woman (with no shortage of her own emotional baggage) who knows how to soothe him. Ruffalo and Johansson have terrific chemistry together, and they become the tender core of a movie that also makes a surprising reveal about the personal life of Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton/Hawkeye, and frequently reminds us that, while sticks and (infinity) stones may scarcely harm these Marvel mainstays, their psyches have suffered their fair share of heavy blows. (Taking his cue from those reviews that compared the first “Avengers” to a comicbook “Rio Bravo,” Whedon has also amped up the Hawksian vibe here, including some amusing macho posturing having to do with Thor’s mighty hammer.)

    When the movie does return to symphony-of-destruction mode, it stays engaging precisely because Whedon has given us reasons to care — at least a tiny bit — about the all the whirring and smashing and booming and crashing. It helps that the actors by now wear these roles as comfortably as second skins — an enviable model that those forthcoming superhero alliances, “Fantastic Four” and “Justice League,” can only hope to follow. (Even Downey, whose smirking sarcasm had already begun to wear thin by the time of “Iron Man 3,” is kept relatively in check here, despite his top billing.) And while Whedon still lacks the innately gifted image-making of his obvious role model, Steven Spielberg (or of his fanboy contemporary, J.J. Abrams), he keeps the movie’s heavy machinery in constant, fluid motion. If this is what the apotheosis of branded, big-studio entertainment has come to look like in 2015, we could be doing much worse. Unlike its title character, “Age of Ultron” most definitely has soul.

    Working for the first time with British d.p. Ben Davis (“Guardians of the Galaxy”), Whedon thinks the film out in more cinematic terms than the prior installment, with some complex tracking shots that last for upwards of a whole minute. Dueling composers Brian Tyler and Danny Elfman have provided a surfeit of speaker-rattling action music, though the most memorable passages remain those recycled bits of Alan Silvestri’s brassy “Avengers” fanfare.
    Rolling Stone
    Captain America actually says “shit.” You heard me. “Language,” scolds Iron Man, who can’t hide his glee at seeing the Cap, a flag-wearing Greatest Generation war hero, dent his tightass image. You won’t have more fun anywhere than losing your shit at Avengers: Age of Ultron. And you don’t have to be a Marvel geek to get with the vibe. In this sequel to 2012’s The Avengers, which helped writer-director Joss Whedon achieve world box-office domination, the movie swings for the fences, going darker and deeper into the bruised psyches of this dysfunctional family of warriors.

    Don’t get me wrong. Age of Ultron is a whole summer of fireworks packed into one movie. It doesn’t just go to 11, it starts there. But it’s best when Whedon sins against the Hollywood commandment of playing it safe. He takes a few wrong turns, creating a jumble when the action gets too thick. But he recovers like a pro, devising a spectacle that’s epic in every sense of the word.

    What do you need to know? That Tony Stark/Iron Man (quipmaster Robert Downey Jr.) has fucked up, big-time. His peacekeeping program, Ultron, has become a robotic force of artificial intelligence (motion-captured and voiced with honey and malice by James Spader) intent on destroying every human on the planet. That can’t happen, so cue Team Avengers, including Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America (Chris Evans) for hammer-and-shield showmanship; Hulk (a superb Mark Ruffalo) for tempering rage with sexual healing from Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson); and, best of all, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) for a startling backstory that Renner imbues with exhilarating humor and emotional heft.

    For added spice, Whedon brings on the newbies. There’s the twins, Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). Someone points out that “he’s fast and she’s weird.” That ain’t the half of it. When Whedon and his FX team send the twins’ fictional Eastern European country into orbit, you’ll see why. Still, no one steals scenes from Ultron, except the Vision, an android played with touching gravity by Paul Bettany, who previously voiced Iron Man’s A.I. confidant J.A.R.V.I.S. and who reps the film’s moral conundrum.

    Wait, what? Moral conundrum? What kind of escapism is this? IMO, it’s the best kind, the kind that sticks with you. Whedon is the true master of the Marvel Comic universe onscreen. He won’t be back when Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1 and Part 2 start shooting next year. The Russo brothers will take the helm. That makes Age of Ultron Whedon’s last Avengers hurrah. And the monumental battle between gods and monsters that he stages to end the film does him proud. Bravo.
    Time Magazine
    Like many if not most people, I have a favorite Avenger. Mine is the Vision. He’s not an A-list Avenger like Thor or Captain America, but he has a ridiculous number of superpowers: he’s superstrong, he can fly, he can walk through walls and shoot beams out of a gem on his forehead. Also, he’s married to the Scarlet Witch.

    The Vision is never going to hold down his own solo movie—probably because he’s weird-looking and an android—but he does make an appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the sequel to Marvel’s vast, Olympian, franchise-melding The Avengers, which made more money than any other film in history except Titanic and Avatar. You can see why: there’s something decadent and supersaturated about these movies, like you almost can’t believe the munificence of a Hollywood that would put Iron Man and the Hulk (and the Vision) in the same movie.

    Like the first one, Avengers: Age of Ultron was written and directed by Joss Whedon, among whose many virtues is an indelible, infallible touch with character, which is important because in Ultron he has to introduce them at a furious rate. In addition to the six regular Avengers—and irregulars like Nick Fury, War Machine and the Falcon—we get not only the Vision but also the sorcerous Scarlet Witch and her twin brother Quicksilver, who has superspeed. Or as one character describes them, “He’s fast, she’s weird.”

    Then there’s Ultron himself, a super-intelligent, borderline indestructible robot created with good intentions that have gone awry—he’s now trying to wipe out humanity. Physically Ultron looks like an animate, damascened suit of armor; having no nose, he also bears a family resemblance to Voldemort. As voiced by James Spader, Ultron displays a finely honed, mordant sense of humor. Responding to a noble, idealistic speech, he begins, “I can’t physically throw up in my mouth …”

    If anything, Whedon’s writing is almost too sharp. The characters are so finely drawn and verbally quick (they name-check Banksy and Eugene O’Neill) that they seem to belong to a different universe than the cartoonish one they find themselves in. They’re smarter than it, but in order for the plot to get rolling, Tony Stark has to make the rookie mistake of trying to create a superpowered artificial intelligence using a gem embedded in the staff of Loki, god of evil. You can see Stark actively struggling to convince even himself that this is a good idea. Likewise, no one ever seems quite sure why the nonsuperpowered, merely handy Avengers, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are in the group at all, since they’re constantly in danger of being squashed like bugs.

    With Ultron, Whedon has the opposite problem: he’s got too much power. Ultron represents a new trend, the cloud-based villain. While he has an impressive robotic hardware body, his essence is software, so he can spread anywhere on the Internet more or less instantly and copy himself at will. Pulverizing his body doesn’t do much good: he sheds bodies the way we shed old iPhones.

    To give the Avengers even a fighting chance, Whedon has to keep Ultron in shackles, like a robotic Harrison Bergeron. He makes Ultron fond of small talk and sentimentally attached to the human form—we know what killer robots look like, and they don’t look like Ultron, they look like Predator drones. Ultron doesn’t back himself up conscientiously either. He’s not even fully wireless—-several times we see him tethered by what look like Ethernet cables. He pulls his punches: never mind trying to hack the world’s nuclear arsenal, why doesn’t he hack the Avengers’ jet? Surely there are a couple of zero-day flaws in the firmware. Or never mind that—he ought to hack Iron Man’s suit.

    A real Ultron would be completely distributed and systemic, the way real-life supervillains are: climate change, Ebola, political inertia, economic inequality. You couldn’t smash them with Thor’s hammer—or you could, but it wouldn’t do any good. That would be truly scary. But not nearly as fun to watch.
    Total Film/SFX
    Meet FrankenStark’s monster…

    The fan frenzy, smart marketing and merchandising around the Hulk-sized franchise that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe means sequel Avengers: Age Of Ultron would likely make a packet even if it solely consisted of the gang playing Marvel Super Heroes on Disney Infinity while eating Kellogg’s Avengers fruit-flavoured snacks straight from the packet and wearing Avengers jim-jams lit only by an Age Of Ultron lamp for two-and-a-half hours.

    Fortunately, returning director Joss Whedon understands how to craft a superhero movie just as well as Marvel knows how to sell one.

    We rejoin the team mid-action as they tussle with HYDRA agent Baron von Strucker’s (Thomas Kretschmann) men on a mission to retrieve Loki’s stolen sceptre. It’s an expert and epic sequence, a judicious use of slo-mo showcasing each Avenger’s special skills whilst offering a lean recap of the main characters for anyone who’s been under a rock since 2012’s Avengers Assemble became the third-highest-grossing film of all time.

    It’s the first of several impressive action set-pieces yet Avengers: Age Of Ultron also establishes itself as primarily concerned with the personal and the political – a superhero movie grounded in the real world, focused on family, ethics and psychology.

    So, following on from the extra-terrestrial threat of the Loki-led Chitauri and HYDRA’s infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D., the world is a bleak place, with Cap (Chris Evans) et al fearing for the safety of the human race. There’s a fresh threat in the attractive but unnerving form of mysterious twins Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) Maximoff, generic experiments harbouring a disturbing secret which has given them particular beef with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr).

    Stark himself has grown paranoid, relying heavily on his ‘Iron Legion’ of mechanoid surrogates who look suspiciously like unofficial police-bots. He says he wants to “put a suit of armour around the world” but when that suit of armour becomes sentient, things get nasty…

    AOU is about hubris, it’s Marvel’s take on the Frankenstein story with unplanned-for Ultron as Stark’s hideous progeny. He’s a whip-smart, quip-smart, hyper-intelligent infant who takes after but hates his ersatz father so wants to rebel in the most dramatic way possible.

    James Spader, who provides Ultron’s voice, is perfect, oozing intelligence and sophistication tinged with rage and righteous indignation. A megalomaniac who’ll pause for a perfect one-liner to with which to wither Stark while destroying the rest of his race without a thought, he’s a genius sociopath who mirrors his creator, Whedon’s horror roots showing through magnificently as AOU becomes the first genuinely frightening entry in the franchise.

    The price, though, is a serious tone which differentiates the film from the rapid-fire funny Avengers Assemble and warmly anarchic Guardians Of The Galaxy. There are gags but AOU is tonally much closer to The Winter Soldier, laying ground for Captain America: Civil War, which promises to be darker still. The Maximoffs – soon revealed to be Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch – stay away from colourful spandex but carry an emotional heft.

    As opposed to X-Men: Days Of Future Past’s cheeky, sneakered videogamer mutant (as played by Evan Peters), Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver is serious and embittered while Olsen’s Scarlet Witch plays more like a J-horror girl ghost than a superhero. High-flying synthetic being The Vision (voice of Jarvis, Paul Bettany, in a whole new role), meanwhile, is something else altogether.

    Six main Avengers, a handful of S.H.I.E.L.D mainstays and three flesh-and-blood newbies, not to mention a robot army, means it’s already a battle for screen time, yet AOU still manages to be cameo-tastic, bringing back a host of favourites from previous stand-alone movies as well as some significant fresh supporting characters (including Andy Serkis as an arms dealer who’s afraid of cuttlefish).

    And, somehow, it works. There’s a love story, a tragedy, a shock reveal, eye-popping action, tear-jerking emotion and a crazy/creepy baddie who might possibly prove too much for younger viewers. And there’s as much interior turmoil as external, as Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) struggle with their pasts, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) wrangles his responsibilities and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) juggles his work/life balance.

    If there are problems, they’re inherent to the genre. At 141 minutes it feels long, particularly in the final act which, as in almost every superhero movie, involves a massive (and impressive) extended battle sequence.

    Beautifully choreographed, expertly directed and edited so that – despite the vast headcount – every punch, kick and smash is coherent and clear, it is nevertheless just a giant fight which, broadly speaking, can surely only end one way. (The mid-credits reveal is also slightly underwhelming but the tingle-inducing closing shots of the film will mean you barely notice.)

    In short, Avengers: Age Of Ultron remains right at the top of its game. Forget the MCU, this is event cinema which puts Marvel right at the centre of our own, real-world cinematic universe.
    The Wrap
    Sequel fatigue for the second chapter of any cinematic saga is generally a given, but “Avengers: Age of Ultron” sags under the weight of not only its 10 Marvel Cinematic Universe predecessors, but also the dozen or so already-announced follow-ups.

    In the first “Avengers,” writer-director Joss Whedon showed a facility for bringing modern comic books to the screen with equal parts snappy banter and awe-inspiring mayhem, and while those gifts remain evident in “Ultron,” you can feel the functionality of Disney’s Marvel movies overwhelming the fun. This latest film isn’t a cheat, but neither is it a delight.

    “Ultron” begins with the action already in progress, with Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) storming the castle of Baron Strucker (Thomas Krestchmann), the last uncaptured agent of Hydra. Strucker possesses the Staff of Loki, which contains a jewel that drives the plot in various directions, particularly when Stark realizes that there’s an intelligence within the stone that could provide AI for an army of robotic Iron Men to keep Earth safe from outside invaders.

    Stark is swiftly punished for his hubris when that artificial intelligence becomes Ultron (voiced by James Spader), who infiltrates the world’s computers and begins assembling his own mechanical army to erase humanity and allow the planet to start over without us. Aiding Ultron are two former lieutenants of Strucker’s, twins Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), whose powers (as Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver) are succinctly summed up by SHIELD’s Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders): “He’s fast, and she’s weird.” (Hill is too tactful to point out that their powers do not include successfully grappling with an Eastern European moose-and-squirrel accent.)

    Avengers254d115799263bThere are moments of respite between the big battles, and that’s when Whedon can give us his trademark badinage. What he does less successfully is fit in quotidian moments with Black Widow, Hulk and Hawkeye, the characters who haven’t had movies named after them over the last three years. Add some crammed-in cameos from the sidekicks from “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Thor: The Lost World” and “Iron Man 3,” and the film starts to resemble a phone booth crammed with frat pledges.

    (Anyone not present and accounted for — Gwyneth Paltrow and Natalie Portman had other engagements, apparently — is at least mentioned in dialogue.)

    All these minor characters and blueprints for their function in the coming chapters give “Ultron” a bloat that the prior film didn’t have, and while the movie jumps through enough hoops to remain entertaining on a basic level, it doesn’t have the giddy enjoyment factor of “Avengers” and “The Dark World” nor the smarts and character development of “The Winter Soldier.” Marvel movie die-hards will come away having found nuggets of pleasure, but those who complain about superhero sagas will find plenty to support their arguments here.

    The ensemble cast (which also includes Don Cheadle, Stellan Skarsgård, Linda Cardellini and, of course, Samuel L. Jackson) knows exactly what they need to do and delivers it with a minimum of fuss; the scene-stealer of the bunch turns out to be Spader, who makes Ultron one of the screen’s drollest destroyers of worlds. Ultron is menacing but never unmotivated, and Spader knows just how to give Whedon’s dialogue the right lilt to make it both witty and terrifying.

    It may well be that we’ll eventually stop looking at these Marvel films as discrete, individual experiences rather than chapters in an epic binge-watch, but even by those standards, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” feels like a solid but overstuffed episode, one more concerned with being connective tissue than anything else. Future Marvel-movie marathoners will find plenty of sandwich-grabbing opportunities during its running time.
    Entertainment Weekly
    These days, we’re so used to feeling short-changed when we go to the movies that it may seem churlish to complain when someone gives us too much. But with Marvel’s latest comic-book battle royale, Avengers: Age of Ultron, I walked out of the theater feeling like the survivor of an all-you-can-eat buffet. There are five shock-and-awe action sequences when three would have sufficed. And there are more than a dozen main characters (including a few new ones) all jockeying for screen time when half that number would have already been pushing it. Even the film’s rimshot-ready one-liners have the overkill desperation of a stand-up scared of bombing. Either through his own ambition or the mandate of his corporate overlords, writer-director Joss Whedon simply has too many balls to keep in the air for one movie—even a two-and-a-half-hour one—and you can feel his exhaustion.

    The movie wastes no time, kicking off mid-battle as Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Chris Evans’ Captain America, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, and the CGI Hulk storm the medieval lair of the last remaining Hydra agent (Thomas Krestchmann’s Baron Strucker), who possesses the glowing Staff of Loki and has nefarious plans for it. There, they encounter a pair of new “enhanced” enemies, the Russky-accented Maximoff twins: Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s blindingly fleet Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen’s telekinetic goth chick Scarlet Witch. Or, as Cobie Smulders’ SHIELD agent succinctly describes them, “He’s fast, and she’s weird.” She might have also said, “He’s kinda boring, and she looks like she’d rather be at a Cure concert.” Either way, they’re merely an amuse-bouche for the real baddie to come.

    Having recovered Loki’s mystical doodad and its infinity-stone central processor, Downey’s Tony Stark decides to harness its energy to create an army of AI Iron Men to protect the planet from future threats. But his hubris backfires and he gives birth to the evil sentient robot, Ultron, who’s bent on not only taking out the Avengers, but the rest of humanity too. With his smarmy metallic croak, Spader is perfectly cast as the voice of Ultron. So much so that it’s surprising it’s taken this long for someone to tap into the actor’s gift for threateningly bitchy condescension in one of these things. While the gang hopscotches across the globe finding new excuses to face off with Ultron, Whedon does his best to occasionally slow the action down and give us the sort of character moments the film could have used more of. Fans of Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner (for me, the best surprise in the first Avengers) will appreciate his will-they-or-won’t-they flirtation with Johansson’s Black Widow. And there’s a funny bit of cocktail-fueled macho bonding when each of the superheroes takes a stab at lifting Thor’s hammer (unsuccessfully). Even Renner’s Hawkeye, who’s always felt a bit like the sixth wheel of the bunch, gets an unexpected backstory involving a secret family life with a wife (Linda Cardellini) and kids. Who knew that when he wasn’t busy reaching into his quiver, he was moonlighting as Alan Thicke from Growing Pains?

    Beyond the core spandex posse, a slew of familiar faces wanders in and out of the picture as if someone back at Marvel HQ were desperate to extend the film’s line of action figures. Still, my real beef with these movies—and this one in particular— is how same-y they’ve started to feel. Each time out, everything is at stake and nothing is at stake. Someone wants to destroy the world, but none of our heroes is ever in any jeopardy. With sequels already lined up for the next decade, how much danger could any of them be in? They’re too valuable to the bottom line. And where’s the excitement in that? B-


    Filming began on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa, having been postponed that Monday. Second unit crews shot action sequences without the main cast, to be used as background plates for scenes featuring the Hulk, in the Central Business District of Johannesburg for a period of two weeks. By mid-March, principal photography had begun at Shepperton Studios near London and was scheduled to film there for at least four months, under the working title After Party. Filming at Shepperton as well as other locations in England allowed Whedon to get a "number of different looks and textures and moods" to give the film a different palette and fresh aesthetic from its predecessor.
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    Production designer Charles Wood built an enormous, new Avengers Tower set, one of the largest sets ever built for a Marvel film. The set featured multiple connected environments and levels. On March 22, production moved to Fort Bard, Italy and continued in the Aosta Valley region through March 28. The region doubled as the fictional Eastern European nation of Sokovia, with crews replacing local storefronts with Cyrillic script. Filming in South Korea began on March 30 on the Mapo Bridge, and continued through April 14 at various locations in Seoul. While in Seoul, the production was able to attach cameras to drones and race cars to get unique camera angles and footage. An artificial island on the Han River known as the Saebit Dungdungseom served as the headquarters of an IT institute featured in the film. Scenes involving Ultron’s attack on parts of the city were shot in the Gangnam District. In April, shooting began in Hawley Woods in Hampshire, England, and Hayley Atwell, who played Peggy Carter in previous MCU films, filmed scenes inside the Rivoli Ballroom in London while extras performed the Lindy Hop. That June, scenes were shot at the University of East Anglia in Norwich and at Dover Castle in Kent, with Dover Castle used for interior shots of Strucker’s Hydra base in Sokovia. The next month, filming took place at a training facility for London’s Metropolitan Police Service, which doubled as a city in Sokovia. Additional filming took place in Chittagong, Bangladesh, including the Chittagong Ship Breaking Yard, and in New York City. On August 6, Whedon announced on social media that he had completed principal photography on Avengers: Age of Ultron.

    Set Photos


    Avengers: Age of Ultron made its world premiere at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on April 13, 2015, and held its European premiere on April 21 at the Vue West End in London. The film was released in 11 territories on April 22, with its release jumping to 55% of its international market (44 countries) by the end of its first weekend, before releasing on May 1 in the United States, in 3D and IMAX 3D.


    Script developed by Never Enough Design / Edited by KaciElizabeth