The Avengers 2 - Overcrowded?
Superhero films have exploded onto the big screen in ways that we never could have expected in a post-Avengers world. We are seeing all across the board comic book films are becoming more expansive and much more rich in terms of character development and scope. That can be attributed to the success of Marvel's The Avengers. Now, Marvel has continued their success with two entries in their on-going plans of an expansive cinematic universe but as we all well know, they are not stopping anytime soon. The Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out next year and is the widely anticipated ever since the tease of Thanos at the end of the first film. Fans cannot wait to see all the heroes working together again, with the help of a few new people as well. That is something that is also making some fans a little bit more hesitant as it is becoming a much bigger film, but a crowded film as well. They have two villains to introduce in the form of Ultron, and Baron von Strucker. Then three news heroes. If anyone can do it, then I would put my money on Marvel and Joss Whedon to pull it off but I would also think it would be wise if this film is longer then the previous entry.
As for the titular villain, Ultron, it seems as if they are continuing with the idea that was briefly touched upon in the first Avengers film where members of the government view the Avengers as a bigger threat to the world as their heroic deeds will surely lead to more destruction. Thus they decide to create Ultron, a robotic entity whose sole purpose is to keep mankind safe and eradicate any threat to them. However, considering the fact that he is a robot without a conscious, he views mankind and the Avengers as the biggest threat and seeks to end them. In the comics, Ultron was created by Hank Pym and Joss Whedon has already stated he will not be in the film. I think it is likely, however, that Ultron will be created by the government using Stark tech, such as his destroyed armor from the end of Iron Man 3 and be created by Hank Pym. I doubt his character will ever be shown on camera, but when it is known by the group that the government with Pym's help has gone ahead and created this thing that will upend them, I could easily see Tony say to Bruce Banner something along the lines of, "They got the guy that made Pym Particles to do that? Why not us? Amateurs."
With all of that being said, it is a lot to build up within the film, while still also continuing the development of the Avengers being together. When you add in the fact that Ultron is not the lone villain in the film and joined by Baron von Strucker it is even more surprising. Baron von Strucker will most likely be the new head of HYDRA. With them coming back it gives them another villain to go toe to toe with, but I don't see him being a big threat. In fact, I think it is more likely that in the beginning of the film we could see Captain America leading a group on to the new headquarters of HYDRA to take them down. It would be a quick scene to show his leadership of a bigger group, and also them as a group working really well. It does indeed show that this film will be on a much bigger scope and presumably not self contained in just New York as well. Whedon himself has already stated that multiple places around the world will be used during the filming process. In fact as of right now they are filming in South Africa.
Not only does this film have new villains to introduce, but it also has it's fair share of new heroes to introduce. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver will also be joining the group. Most people are familiar with these two characters as they are actually the children of Magneto from the X-Men. Now, without going to far into it, they cannot, due too legal matters, say that either character is a mutant or go into their origins. They even cannot use their last name, Maximoff, or their mutant names. The easiest fix for this is to say they are special members of SHIELD who have had abilities since they were born. On the topic of their name, I am sure they will just be called Wanda and Pietro. It is actually a godsend that they don't have to go into their origins as it allows them to easily fit into the picture without the need for solo films. Also, their powers will be interesting to see thematically next to the other Avengers. As far as their characters go, I don't think they will get too much screen time and most likely be bigger fixtures during whatever climatic fight they have as a team this time around.
The bigger and more surprising cast addition would be the fact that Paul Bettany, who is famous for his voice-overs of Jarvis, will now be playing Vision. Vision, in the comics, was an android created by Ultron to eliminate the Avengers. it was essentially an act where he felt the Avengers were beneath him, when in fact Vision ended up growing a conscious, and helped the Avengers. In the comics he also developed a long lasting relationship with Scarlet Witch. In regards to the film, I think again it is more likely that he will have a smaller part and his creation will be the result of the destruction of Ultron. I don't see them taking the villain path with Vision and make him go on the straight and narrow from the beginning. If this is not the case, then he may be something Tony creates in response of Ultron going rogue in an attempt to create an extra ally, thus he injects the android with the consciousness of Jarvis.
Considering the tease of Thanos at the end of the first Avengers film, everyone seemed to think it was logical that he would then be the villain of the second film. I was even guilty of this thinking. However, with him not being the villain for it, it shows how the heads at Marvel are thinking long-term with this cinematic universe. It shows that they view him as the final boss at the end of the video game, as Whedon has said already. I used to think that at the end of Avengers 2 we would have seen the Avengers disband and the government call for action against any hero in a mask. This would lead to the Civil War. Through everything I have heard about the Avengers 2, after they deal with Ultron it does indeed sound like the Avengers disband which leaves it to be very plausible that Thanos would be the villain for Avengers 3. It makes sense for him to want to break up his threat before he actually reveals himself. By no means does that mean that I think he sends Ultron, although that would be interesting, but it would be too much along the same lines as the first film with him sending Loki.
Avengers: Age of Ultron has a lot of new elements and new characters being added in, but just because a new character here and there are added does not automatically make it an overcrowded film. Marvel has had ample opportunity to screw up a film by adding to many characters to it but still they really have not. You could point to Iron Man 2, but that was a necessity in order to get the ball rolling a little faster. If anything, The Avengers has shown the Joss Whedon has a knack for getting characters together and being able to make them work together in a very entertaining way. He lets their egos and their flaws work off of each other and in the hands of someone else, I would have my worries. It helps that previously Whedon has written comic books before as well as if his very successfully television series. Thus, what I leave you with on this topic, have a little bit of faith as I Marvel has earned that thus far.