Let’s face it, Avengers: Age of Ultron was crammed with TONS of content. Between all these plot lines, themes and fast pace, it was easy to feel overwhelmed. Though you shouldn’t let that stop you from enjoying this absolutely MARVELous movie! As such, I have put together this special edition Declassified article to help explain the various themes, motivations, references and complex story points that found their way into this film.
*Warning: MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD! So if you haven’t see the film, read our Spoiler Free Review, see the movie and I’ll see you back here*
Tie-Ins To Phase 1 & 2 – Ironman 3, Winter Solider & The Incredible Hulk:
As I discussed in my previous article, there were a bunch of set ups for Marvel’s Phase 3 in this film. Though considering this is the last time we will be seeing any of the Avengers in Phase 2 – since Ant-Man is about introducing a new hero – this film also had just as many moments that reminded us of not only Phase 2, but also Phase 1. For starters, when Scarlet Witch first messed with Tony’s head she was toying with his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – something that we saw quite a bit of in Ironman 3. Sure he has gotten a handle on most of it, but he still fears the beyond. Last time he was able to destroy the Chitauri base, which saved his currently surrounded allies, but what would happen if he couldn’t save them next time?
Continuing with this theme, we also get some tie ins with Captain America: The Winter Soldier as we learn that Falcon is still actively searching for “their missing persons” (The Winter Soldier), but beyond this we learn that S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t as dead as everyone though. Hill has been in contact with Fury the whole time while at Stark Industries and in the end we see S.H.I.E.L.D. return to save the day. Sure it’s a lot smaller than it was, but with the last measurable trace of Hydra gone S.H.I.E.L.D. is finally able to begin rebuilding.
One final example of ‘bringing up the past’ actually comes during Bruce and Natasha’s conversation about their relationship. Hulk never got a Phase 2 film – and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk never got one period – so this scene actually dates back to the original Ed Norton’s The Incredible Hulk. Natasha tells Banner that she isn’t able to have kids, but Bruce isn’t just worried about the kind of kids they’d have. He knows that he isn’t PHYSICALLY able to have sex. A prominent moment of The Incredible Hulk was when he – again, Norton’s Bruce Banner – tells Betty that he can’t because of how it’ll rapidly increase his heart rate.
The final tie-in to past films is actually the one most overlooked, and it explains why so many people found the Black Widow/Hulk romance out of character. Remember at the end of The Winter Soldier, Black Widow learned that what she thought was ‘going straight” was basically just “trading the KGB for Hydra”. At film’s end she was left with trying to find a new identity, who she was/is. THIS is why she is acting so differently. Trying a relationship with Bruce – the only man in her life who actively avoids the fight despite knowing he’ll always win – is part of her new identity. It’s her chance at a normal life in the wake of everything that has happened. So as you watch the film, remember what Widow has been through and lost, and maybe her warmer – yet still kickass – demeanor will make a little more sense.
The Horror Of Surviving – Ironman, Captain America, Hulk, Scarlet Witch:
To start things off, we should look at one of the most prominent themes/focal points of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and that’s “the horror of surviving”. As I mentioned in the last section, Scarlet Witch played upon Tony’s fears to cause him to self-destruct. Though the most frightening part of his vision was that while all of his friends died, he survived. It’s this similar idea that made Bruce and Tony begin the Ultron project in the first place. They didn’t die heroically in the Battle of New York, which means they have to keep fighting and Ultron was supposed to be that savior – but I’ll explore that more later.
Captain America has also been experiencing these feelings – more than anyone else perhaps – as he is literally a man out of time. He didn’t die in World War 2, but instead is alive and well today just as strong as he was 70 years ago. Sadly the same can’t be said for his former friends, which makes him basically the last of his kind. This is why he searches so desperately for Bucky/Winter Soldier, because he makes him no longer ‘the last survivor’. The battle won’t end for Cap because he has no home to go home to. This is why he must keep fighting and is always looking for the next war.
We see Scarlet Witch go through this pain in real time as she faces the pain and loss of loosing her twin brother Quicksilver. As any twin and most will tell you how having a twin makes them feel like there is always someone there with them. They’re part of a bigger whole, and Wanda (SW) just lost hers. Though with Scarlet Witch, her powers seem to grow with horror – or whenever she gets emotional. Thankfully, despite going very dark for a moment – and ripping Ultron’s beating heart out – she is able to find shelter in the arms of the Vision. I’ll discuss this more at a later date, but he basically becomes the ‘order’ to her ‘chaos’.
Hulk experiences these feelings to an extent as well because he knows that when he goes rogue, everything around him will be destroyed – except him. He’s invulnerable and will either out survive his teammates – at best – or be the cause of their destruction – at worst. He of course doesn’t know the vision Tony saw, so maybe he can’t survive forever, which is something Ultron learned at the end. When Vision confronts that remaining Ultron bot, it truly is the last place Ultron can be since he’s been locked out of the net. As the last Ultron bot, he knows that if he dies here he dies for good. He’s the last of his kind and he doesn’t realize until that moment how vulnerable he is – just as Ironman, Captain America, Scarlet Witch do.
Would You Know If You Were A Monster – Ironman, Ultron, Vision & More:
Despite their very “beauty and the beast” dynamic, we learn that Black Widow feels like just as much of a monster on the inside as the Hulk is on the outside. It’s this moment that makes us realize that a lot of this film is all about the idea of ‘being a monster’ and whether or not you would realize it if you were. We hear Maria Hill refer to the Maximoff Twins as such and Captain America immediately places himself in the same “monster” category considering how they were all experimented on by German scientists. Though whereas others are quick to accept or point out their role of “monster”, it is Ironman and his lineage of creations that surprisingly – or unsurprisingly – have trouble realizing the depth of their darker qualities.
Tony has done some marvelous things (ie: Ironman suits, Arc reactor, etc), but he sometimes forgets – or rather represses – that he used to create some very not nice things as well. Despite always having the best intentions, he sometimes creates things that do more harm than good – as we learned in Ironman (2008) when he was still a weapons contractor. It’s this turning a blind eye to the bad that makes Tony fail to realize that using powers he doesn’t fully understand to bring an AI to life is a bad idea. I’ll explore Ultron’s creation more in depth later, but the Ultron’s original AI was modeled off of Tony’s brainwaves. This is the system the Mind Gem helped bring to life, and is also the reason why Ultron inherited – and expanded upon – the same hubris his father displays.
Like his father, Ultron only sees his good intentions and fails to realize the possibly monstrous means and consequences. Ultron awakens and sees all the violence and inconsistencies in the world. By looking at the volumes of history he sees that from an evolutionary standpoint, life progressed after extreme calamities. He wants the world to get stronger and that might require the destruction of humanity. What Ultron fails to see though is that his actions are motivated more by rage than they are reason. For all intents and purposes – and his overwhelming intellect – he’s still basically a newborn/rebellion teenager. He thinks he’s doing the proper and good thing, and he just can’t understand why the world is rejecting him.
Considering Tony’s poor choice in creations and Ultron’s own oversights, it should come as no surprise that Captain America and the others were nervous when Tont decided to work on Ultron’s vibranium-fused creation, Vision. Thankfully, it seems both of their oversights canceled each other out as the Vision was created as a truly worthy individual. He could have easily been the worst monster of them all considering his parentage and boundless power of the Mind Gem, but Vision demonstrates a love for life above all else and is in many ways what Tony meant Ultron to be all along. Sometimes a savior can be a monster (Ultron), but it’s also just as easy for monsters (Hulk, Captain America, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and The Vision) to be saviors. As for where Tony lies in this divide, that is what Civil War will continue to explore as yet another ‘well-meaning’ move by Tony sets him and Captain America – and most of the hero community – at odds.
Birth & Rebirth – Metaphors, Pregnancy, Innocence & Metamorphosis:
Whereas the The Avengers asked if these heroes could become a team, Avengers: Age of Ultron asked if they could stay a team. Throughout the film we saw the team constantly split up and come back together anew. Though things went a lot further than just things being ‘reassembled’, but rather ‘reborn’ as this film focused VERY heavily on the image of birth and rebirth. Between Hawkeye’s wife being pregnant, Black Widow being unable to have children and Thor emerging naked from a pool of water, there were metaphorical and literal births everywhere. Though the most prominent concerned Vision, Captain America, and the Avengers team itself.
Vision’s role in the birth theme is pretty apparent as we literally see him born. Sure Ultron is created within the course of this film as well – more or les – but Vision is the one that we actually see physically born. He’s the first of his kind, a being of immeasurable power and knowledge, yet he has the innocence and purity of a child. His ‘birth’ scene was perfectly staged as we find him more interested in looking out at the beauty of the world than fighting the strangers around him. It’s as if the Vision has lived for centuries, despite being born only yesterday. Though whereas the Vision is the only hero born in this film, it’s other heroes’ rebirths that are just as important.
- The Vision is born
- Concept Art and a composite shot of Scarlet Witch’s final costume
- The Falcon’s new costume
Just like in Ironman 3 when Tony realizes his armors were a cocoon, Captain America realizes in this film that the ice he was frozen in was his. The Captain America that there is today isn’t the same one there was during World War II. Though it’s the rebirth of the Avengers team itself that is the most prominent as it goes from a team of 6 to 9 and then back to 6, but it’s the team’s dynamic that changes most. The initial Avengers line up is basically a bunch of seasoned heroes capable of leading their own missions. The final Avengers team is mostly new heroes who need training from their veteran leaders (Captain America and Black Widow). The team is basically a bunch of children (Vision, Scarlet Witch and Falcon) who need guidance from their parents (Captain America and Black Widow). Sure they have an older brother (War Machine) but even he’s new to the larger scale mission of the Avengers.
Hawkeye’s Moment To Shine – “You Didn’t See That Coming”:
The one down side of The Avengers was that it didn’t give Hawkeye much credit. Sure we met him briefly in Thor, but the way the first film simply made him mind-controlled for 80% of it didn’t give us any time to realize what an awesome Avenger he is. He was just ‘the dude with the arrows’. That is why one of the most satisfying things of Avengers: Age of Ultron was how we FINALLY got to see Hawkeye in all his glory. Though it was because of this focus – and quarrel with another character – that we almost thought it’d be his last.
Hawkeye isn’t just a ‘the guy with the arrows’. He’s a brilliant tactician and has perfect aim – meaning he can hit anything with anything – ; but more than that he is just as sarcastic as Tony Stark. From seeing his awesome aim here first hand as well as his countless jokes, we found a character we could fall in love with; and as we learned in this film, someone already did. Showing that Hawkeye has a family not only explains why he wasn’t around for the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier – he was away with them – but also sets him drastically apart from the other Avengers.
Black Widow and Hulk’s relationship doesn’t work out. Captain America missed his chance with Peggy. Ironman and Thor both argue over who has the better girlfriend, yet neither of their significant others are actually with them. Ironman even leaves at the end of this film hoping to find what Hawkeye has. Seeing all these new sides of Hawkeye is wonderful, but it did bring one tremendous fear to mind: he won’t live through this – his final mission. We hear him talking to his wife Laura about how this is his last one and it seems like his fate is sealed. So when we see him rush out later to protect the small boy – a metaphor for how Hawkeye will have to protect his soon to be born son – we know it’s coming. When we see the hijacked Quinjet take aim, we know it’s all over. Though in the last second, something happens that we “didn’t see coming”.
Since their first interaction – when he intercepted Hawkeye’s arrow – Quicksilver and Hawkeye were always trying to one up each other with the phrase” you didn’t see that coming”. These two constantly bicker back and forth and at one point – after Quicksilver has joined the team – Hawkeye even contemplates shooting him in the back. This isn’t just for fun as these two literally hate each other, or at least Hawkeye hates Quicksilver. This isn’t just because Quicksilver made Hawkeye miss his shot, but also because – as we could have seen in some deleted scenes – Quicksilver is a tremendous womanizer.
All of this taken together shows Quicksilver as someone who doesn’t only get in Hawkeye’s face repeatedly, but also is the opposite of what Hawkeye is – a family man. So at the end when Quicksilver sacrifices himself to save Hawkeye, it brings their whole “you didn’t see that coming” relationship full circle. This shows that even someone of poor moral quality has a chance to be a hero, which Hawkeye honors by giving his newborn son the middle name Pietro.
Explaining Ultron’s Origins, Aims & Reasoning:
As I started to explain earlier, the Ultron program was started before Tony and Bruce got their hands on the scepter. It was intended to be a peacekeeping program that would function like a suit of armor around the world. As with any AI in the Marvel Universe, it had to be modeled on someone’s existing brain patterns (ie: JARVIS, and even Zola to an extent). What the Scepter merely did was push the limits of the AI so that it could become supremely self-aware. When we see Ultron first ‘come into consciousness’ he is in the Stark Systems conversing with the JARVIS program. With this access to both the Stark Systems and the Internet at large, Ultron basically downloads the entirety of the human race in a few seconds and is overwhelmed by what he learns.
He is built to protect the world yet it is the humans who constantly tear it down and create their own problems. Additionally, you must remember that he was brought into consciousness from the scepter, which houses the Mind Gem. He knows what they are and of their power, so he can also see what they bring out. Like Scarlet Witches visions, Ultron would also know that the Infinity Gems could bring about a massive war to Earth. This is also why he is so dead set on evolution. The world as it is isn’t strong enough and he must make it stronger. Again, since he has access to the annals of history, he knows that the world has usually changed the most after extinction level events. This is why he engineers a homemade asteroid to wipe out life on earth – similar to the dinosaurs. He might have the best of intentions going into this, but he fails to see that he isn’t only acting out of rational.
As I just said, Ultron was based off of Tony Stark’s brain patterns, which explains why he’s both funny and brilliant. Though also similarly to Stark, he has daddy issues. Like JARVIS said when Ultron first became conscious, there was an error in his code which only exacerbated his Stark tendencies. He was overwhelmed with everything he learned and took the usual Stark path – “I know best”. Additionally, this is a supremely self-aware being in a robot body; yet Ultron wants more. This is why he creates the Vision to be both Vibranium and human – a synthezoid. To use Ultron’s own Pinocchio references, he “wants to be a real boy” – while also decimating humanity. It’s this mix of rational, rage and longing that corrupts Ultron’s prime directive and sends him – like his father – on a self-destructive path.
At the end of the day, Ultron would be an awesome guy to hang out with. He’s brilliant and his worldviews have a lot of wisdom behind them, but it is because of his blind rage that he becomes the homicidal robot we see in this film. Vision is in many ways what Ultron was supposed to be: the brilliance of Ultron with the calm demeanor of JARVIS. He becomes what the other can’t, and in that perfect crossover we are given a being that has the “power to create real change” – as Ultron said – but also understands and embodies emotions rather than become consumed and blinded by them. He sees humanity’s faults, but instead of decimating them for it he seeks to protect them and grow with them until they get it right.
I Understood That Reference – Easter Eggs, Tie-Ins & More:
- This film’s Stan Lee cameo showed us that he can’t handle his 1000 year old Asgardian liquor. Bonus was him saying his famous catch phrase “Excelsior!”
- The AI system that controls the Anti-Hulk tech (Hulkbuster, containment box, satellite, etc) is named “Veronika”. Archie fans would get the reference since like Archie, Hulk has a sweet and kind gal named Betty Ross in The Incredible Hulk (2008). So if Hulk has a Betty, Tony figures he needs her mean counterpart, named Veronika. Whereas ‘Betty’ could calm Hulk with love, the “Veronika” system would calm him by force.
- When Captain America said “What kind of a monster would let a German scientist experiment on them to protect their country” he was showing that the twins origins aren’t that different from his own.
- During his first meeting with the twins, Ultron disguises himself with a crimson sheet of some kind, this is a reference to how in the comics Ultron was originally disguised as ‘The Crimson Cowl”
- Additionally in this scene, Ultron says “Invaders create Avengers” which is on one level a reference to how the Battle of New York created the Avengers but also is a reference to the WWII Superhero team The Invaders, of which Captain America was also a member.
- What goes around comes around as this time it is The Hulk who is sucker punched off screen by Hulkbuster.
- When Tony Stark clarifies that it’s been a long day – “Eugene O’Neill long” – he is referencing Eugene O’Neill’s famous drama Long Day’s Journey Into Night originally written in the 40s.
- The AI system Tony changes to in the end is named FRIDAY, as in “His Girl Friday” another 1940’s reference. Though also a reference to his virtual secretary in the comics – named Friday.
- The Crimson Cowl
- *Credit to original poster
- Additionally in this scene we see another AI key with the name Jocasta written on it. In the comics, Jocasta was the name of Ultron’s ‘bride to be’ but eventually joined the Avengers as well.
- When Black Widow tells Hulk that she hopes ‘this makes them even’, she is equating pushing him down a hole to jumping up with him to a floating city.
- Similarly to how he asked Thor in The Avengers if he was “getting sleepy”, Captain America asks Thor during the final battle if he was off napping.
- This could have been just me, but Black Widow wielding Captain America’s shield reminded me a lot of The Winter Solider doing the same.
- The Hellicarrier that Fury brings to battle is the repaired turbine Hellicarrier from The Avengers, Hellicarrier #64.
- The man we see working on this Hellicarrier is the same man from The Winter Soldier who refused Rumlow’s order to activate the launch.
- The Ultron bot at the end with Vision was the one Captain America knocked off the floating Sokovia
- Earlier in the film, Quicksilver tells Scarlet Witch that he’s still 12 minutes older than her – keeping in like with the usual 12 joke (ie: 12% of the credit in The Avengers, 12% of a plan in Guardians of the Galaxy)
- This Avengers Academy is most certainly part of the Theta Protocol Agent Coulson has been working on since becoming Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. during Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.s second season.
- The ‘dream sequence’ Tony sees seems to show a mysterious character in the rubble too. The quality is low here, but could that be Nebula? Perhaps this will be an actual shot from Infinity War like I predicted in my Phase 3 Set Up article.
- The Infinity Gauntlet shown at the end was a left handed glove, while the one in Asgard was right handed. This confirms that there are two gloves, because seriously – who just makes one glove?
So there you have it: everything explained from Avengers: Age of Ultron. Hopefully this explained all of your questions and gave you even more love for this film. If you want to see some more from this film, then please check out The Top 5 Ways Age of Ultron Set Up Marvel’s Phase 3 and the Top 7 Funniest Moments. Also, please stay tuned for this week’s Agents of SHIELD episode where we’ll discuss the immediate aftermath of this film.
*Special Thanks to Jung Industries for the Screenshots
Not to be confused with Age of Ultron.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is a 2015 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team the Avengers, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2012's The Avengers and the eleventh film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was written and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast that includes Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgård, James Spader, and Samuel L. Jackson. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers fight Ultron, an artificial intelligence obsessed with causing human extinction.
The sequel was announced in May 2012, after the successful release of The Avengers. Whedon, the director of the first film, was brought back on board in August and a release date was set. By April 2013, Whedon had completed a draft of the script, and casting began in June with the re-signing of Downey. Second unit filming began in February 2014 in South Africa with principal photography taking place between March and August 2014. The film was primarily shot at Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England, with additional footage filmed in Italy, South Korea, Bangladesh, New York City, and various locations around England. While in post production, the film was converted to 3D and over 3,000 visual effects shots were added.
Avengers: Age of Ultron premiered in Los Angeles on April 13, 2015, and was released on May 1, 2015, in the United States, in 3D and IMAX 3D. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and grossed over $1.4 billion worldwide, making it the seventh-highest-grossing film in history and the fourth highest-grossing film of 2015. A sequel, Avengers: Infinity War, is scheduled to be released on April 27, 2018, and another untitled sequel is scheduled for May 3, 2019.
In the Eastern European country of Sokovia, the Avengers—Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Thor, Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanoff, and Clint Barton—raid a Hydra facility commanded by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who has been experimenting on humans using the scepter previously wielded by Loki. They encounter two of Strucker's test subjects—twins Pietro Maximoff, who has superhuman speed, and Wanda Maximoff, who can manipulate minds and project energy—and apprehend Strucker, while Stark retrieves Loki's scepter.
Stark and Banner discover an artificial intelligence within the scepter's gem, and secretly decide to use it to complete Stark's "Ultron" global defense program. The unexpectedly sentient Ultron, believing he must eradicate humanity to save Earth, eliminates Stark's A.I. J.A.R.V.I.S. and attacks the Avengers at their headquarters. Escaping with the scepter, Ultron uses the resources in Strucker's Sokovia base to upgrade his rudimentary body and build an army of robot drones. Having killed Strucker, he recruits the Maximoffs, who hold Stark responsible for their parents' deaths by his company's weapons, and goes to the base of arms dealer Ulysses Klaue to obtain Wakandanvibranium. The Avengers attack Ultron and the Maximoffs, but Wanda subdues them with haunting visions, causing the Hulk (Banner) to rampage until Stark stops him with his anti-Hulk armor.1
A worldwide backlash over the resulting destruction, and the fears Wanda's hallucinations incited, send the team into hiding at a safe house. Thor departs to consult with Dr. Erik Selvig on the apocalyptic future he saw in his hallucination, while Nick Fury arrives and encourages the team to form a plan to stop Ultron. In Seoul, Ultron forces the team's friend Dr. Helen Cho, who is enslaved by Loki's scepter, to use her synthetic-tissue technology, together with vibranium and the scepter's gem, to perfect a new body for him. As Ultron uploads himself into the body, Wanda is able to read his mind; discovering his plan for human extinction, the Maximoffs turn against Ultron. Rogers, Romanoff, and Barton find Ultron and retrieve the synthetic body, but Ultron captures Romanoff.
The Avengers fight amongst themselves when Stark secretly uploads J.A.R.V.I.S.—who is still operational after hiding from Ultron inside the Internet—into the synthetic body. Thor returns to help activate the body, explaining that the gem on its brow—one of the six Infinity Stones, the most powerful objects in existence—was part of his vision. This "Vision" and the Maximoffs accompany the Avengers to Sokovia, where Ultron has used the remaining vibranium to build a machine to lift a large part of the capital city skyward, intending to crash it into the ground to cause global extinction. Banner rescues Romanoff, who awakens the Hulk for the battle. The Avengers fight Ultron's army while Fury arrives in a Helicarrier with Maria Hill, James Rhodes and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to evacuate civilians. Pietro dies when he shields Barton from gunfire, and a vengeful Wanda abandons her post to destroy Ultron's primary body, which allows one of his drones to activate the machine. The city plummets, but Stark and Thor overload the machine and shatter the landmass. In the aftermath, the Hulk, unwilling to endanger Romanoff by being with her, departs in a Quinjet, while the Vision confronts and seemingly destroys Ultron's last remaining body.
Later, with the Avengers having established a new base run by Fury, Hill, Cho, and Selvig, Thor returns to Asgard to learn more about the forces he suspects have manipulated recent events. As Stark leaves and Barton retires, Rogers and Romanoff prepare to train new Avengers: Rhodes, the Vision, Sam Wilson, and Wanda.
In a mid-credits scene, Thanos, dissatisfied by the failures of his pawns, dons a gauntlet2 and vows to retrieve the Infinity Stones himself.
- Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man:
The benefactor of the Avengers, who is a self-described genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist with electromechanical suits of armor of his own invention. On how his character evolves after the events of Iron Man 3, Downey said, "I think he realizes that tweaking and making all the suits in the world—which is what he has been doing—still didn't work for that thing of his tour of duty that left him a little PTSD. So his focus is more on how can we make it so that there's no problem to begin with. That, you know, there's a bouncer at our planet's rope. That's the big idea."
- Chris Hemsworth as Thor:
An Avenger and the crown prince of Asgard, based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name. Regarding Thor's place in the film, Hemsworth stated that as Thor has remained on Earth since Thor: The Dark World, and has begun to feel at home here, he considers Ultron's threat a personal attack. Hemsworth stated that he had to work harder to bring new elements to the character to avoid repeating himself saying, "It gave us room to kind of make him a little more grounded and human and have him in some civilian clothes and mixing it up at a party." Hemsworth noted that Thor's motivations in this film were completely different, as it was the first MCU film where he did not play against Tom Hiddleston's character of Loki.
- Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / Hulk:
An Avenger and a genius scientist who, because of exposure to gamma radiation, transforms into a monster when enraged or agitated. To prepare for the role, Ruffalo worked with motion capture performer Andy Serkis' The Imaginarium Studios. He stated that his character had grown since the previous film and was "a bit more complex". Ruffalo explained that a confrontation is brewing between Banner and the Hulk saying, "There's a very cool thing happening: Hulk is as afraid of Banner as Banner is afraid of Hulk.. and they have got to come to peace somehow with each other." While filming in London, Ruffalo said that Whedon still had not given him any of the Hulk's lines. Whedon later explained that he writes the Hulk's dialogue spontaneously, saying, "What makes the Hulk so hard to write is that you're pretending he's a werewolf when he's a superhero. You want it vice versa... So the question is, how has he progressed? How can we bring changes on what the Hulk does? And that's not just in the screenplay, that's moment to moment."
- Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America:
The leader of the Avengers and a World War II veteran, who was enhanced to the peak of human physicality by an experimental serum and frozen in suspended animation before waking up in the modern world. Evans stated that since the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Rogers has been left to depend on his Avenger teammates without the structure of military life and is now "looking to understand where he belongs, not just as a soldier, as Captain America, but as Steve Rogers, as a person." Evans said that he was able to maintain the strength he built up for Captain America: The Winter Soldier by working out up to an hour a day. Regarding Captain America's fighting style, Evans felt he did not want to take a step back from the skills shown in The Winter Soldier, making sure Rogers' fight style advanced, showing "a consistent display of strength" and having Rogers utilizing his environment.
- Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow:
An Avenger who formerly worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. as a highly trained spy. Producer Kevin Feige stated that more of the character's backstory is explored in the film. Johansson elaborated, "In Avengers 2 we go back... we definitely learn more about Widow's backstory, and we get to find out how she became the person you see. All of these characters have deep, dark pasts, and I think that the past catches up to some of us a little bit." Regarding where the film picks up Widow's story, Johansson felt it was a continuation of what was seen for her character in The Winter Soldier, with the fact that "'[Widow] never made an active choice. [She's] a product of other people's imposition.' That's going to catch up with her. That's bound to have a huge effect. There's got to be a result of that realization... You'll see her actively making some choices in her life, for better or worse." A mixture of close-ups, concealing costumes, stunt doubles and visual effects were used to help hide Johansson's pregnancy during filming.
- Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton / Hawkeye:
An Avenger and master archer who previously worked as an agent for S.H.I.E.L.D. Whedon said that Hawkeye interacts more with the other characters in the film, as opposed to the first film where the character had been "possessed pretty early by a bad guy and had to walk around all scowly." As the character did not appear in any other of Marvel's Phase Two films, Whedon stated Age of Ultron sheds light on to what the character was doing since the end of The Avengers. Renner described the character as "kind of a loner" and "a team player only 'cause he sort of has to be. He's not really a company man. Captain America can be that guy. In [Age of Ultron] you'll understand why [Hawkeye] thinks the way he thinks."
- Don Cheadle as James "Rhodey" Rhodes / War Machine: An officer in the U.S. Air Force and Tony Stark's close personal friend who operates the War Machine armor.
- Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff / Quicksilver:
The twin brother of the Scarlet Witch, who can move at superhuman speed. Taylor-Johnson felt Pietro was defined by the fact that he and his sister were abandoned by their family, and they both had to grow up "in Eastern Europe defending and looking out for themselves and each other," that they both look to the other for guidance. Taylor-Johnson also said that Quicksilver was "very overprotective" of Scarlet Witch and has "real anger frustration", which results in him being easily bored because of a short attention span. Feige stated exploring Quicksilver's relationship with his sister and his backstory growing up in Eastern Europe would help differentiate the character from Evan Peters' version in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). Taylor-Johnson stated that the running style for Quicksilver went through multiple iterations, saying, "The running style we tested early on was just very one-dimensional and boring to look at, but if you try to do free running, like parkour, then that's very much Captain America's style... You have to find your own place in the stunt world." Much of Taylor-Johnson's scenes were filmed outdoors to give "life" to his running, as opposed to running indoors in front of a green screen.
- Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch:
The twin sister of Quicksilver, who can engage in hypnosis and telekinesis. Olsen felt Wanda was "overly stimulated" rather than "mentally insane" because "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... she can connect to this world and parallel worlds at the same time, and parallel times." Describing her character's mind control powers, Olsen said that the character is able to do more than manipulating someone's mind, with Scarlet Witch able to "feel and see what they feel and see" by projecting visions that they have never seen. Olsen expanded saying, "What I love about her is that, in so many superhero films, emotions are kind of negated a bit, but for her everything that someone else could feel—like their weakest moments—she physically goes through that same experience with them, which is pretty cool." Olsen drew on her relationship with her older brother and her sisters to prepare for the role, as well as looking to the comics for inspiration. Olsen revealed that Whedon was inspired by dancers as a way to visually represent how the character moves. As such, Olsen mostly trained with a dancer in lieu of traditional stunt training. Olsen is signed for this film and another.
- Paul Bettany as J.A.R.V.I.S. and Vision:
Bettany, who voiced J.A.R.V.I.S., Stark's A.I. companion in previous films, was cast again as the Vision, an android created by Ultron. Bettany stated that he was surprised when Whedon asked him if he wanted to be the Vision because once an actor has been cast as a particular character in the MCU, they usually are not cast as another. On what intrigued him about the Vision, Bettany said, "The thing that appealed to me is that this sort of nascent creature being born, being both omnipotent and totally naive, the sort of danger of that and complex nature of a thing being born that is that powerful and that created in a second and the choices he makes morally are really complex and interesting. They've really managed to maintain all of that". Bettany also stated that the Vision feels paternal and protective to a number of people in the film, particularly Scarlet Witch, and has the ability to change his density. Bettany did wire work for the part. Whedon stated he wanted to include the Vision in a second Avengers film before he signed onto the first film. Bettany's make-up, which consisted of a mix of face paint and prosthetics, took two hours to apply with make-up artists Jeremy Woodhead and Nik Williams citing the correct hue of the Vision's skin as the hardest thing to figure out.
- Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill:
A former high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who now works for Stark. Describing Hill's situation in the film, Smulders said that after The Winter Soldier, Hill does not "really know who's a good guy and who's a bad guy and she's trying to figure out that throughout this film." She added, "She's not getting any sleep. She's doing all the work. She doesn't have the kind of manpower that she had in S.H.I.E.L.D.," instead working for Tony Stark at the Avenger's headquarters "trying to keep everything running as smoothly as possible... it's an entirely different vibe for her."
- Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson / Falcon:
A former pararescueman trained by the military in aerial combat using a specially designed wing pack and a friend of Steve Rogers. Discussing the relationship between Wilson and Rogers, Mackie said that the two characters have a mutual "soldier respect", which is explored in the film and in Captain America: Civil War. Feige said that it was decided to reshoot the final scene of the film to incorporate the new Falcon suit designed for Ant-Man, which was released after Age of Ultron, as Falcon was originally shot in his original suit from The Winter Soldier. Mackie stated he did not realize Wilson had become an Avenger until he watched the film at the premiere, as he was only given the script for the scenes he worked on.
- Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter: A retired officer with the Strategic Scientific Reserve and a co-founder of S.H.I.E.L.D., who is a former love interest of Steve Rogers.
- Idris Elba as Heimdall: The all-seeing, all-hearing Asgardian sentry of the Bifröst Bridge, based on the mythological deity of the same name.
- Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig:
An astrophysicist and a friend of Thor. Skarsgård said he was originally not supposed to appear in the film, but received a call because "they'd written a couple of scenes, and I went and did them," not knowing if the scenes would appear in the final cut of the film.
- James Spader as Ultron:
An artificial intelligence repurposed by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner for a pilot peace program that is overwhelmed with a god complex, and now desires to pacify the Earth by eradicating humanity. Director Joss Whedon stated that Spader was his "first and only choice" for the role, because of his "hypnotic voice that can be eerily calm and compelling" while also being very human and humorous. Feige clarified that Spader's face and body were motion captured "to create a whole performance... We did not hire James Spader to do a robot voice." Extensive scans were taken of Spader's head and body in preparation for the role. About the character Whedon said, "He's always trying to destroy the Avengers, goddamn it, he's got a bee in his bonnet. He's not a happy guy, which means he's an interesting guy. He's got pain. And the way that manifests is not going to be standard robot stuff." Whedon added that Ultron is "not a creature of logic—he's a robot who's genuinely disturbed. We're finding out what makes him menacing and at the same time endearing and funny and strange and unexpected, and everything a robot never is." Whedon compared Ultron to Frankenstein's monster, saying, "It's our new Frankenstein myth [...] We create something in our own image and the thing turns on us. It has that pain of 'Well, why was I made? I want to kill Daddy.'" Spader called the character "self-absorbed" and added, "I think he sees the Avengers as being part of a problem, a more comprehensive problem in the world. He sees the world from a very strange, [biblical] point of view because he's brand new, he's very young... He's immature, and yet has knowledge of comprehensive, broad history and precedent, and he has created in a very short period of time a rather skewed worldview." Spader elaborates, "He truly is an artificial intelligence with absolutely no censorship at all, no parameters really … he’s got too much power, too much strength and speed and size, so he’s a very dangerous child."
- Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury:
The former director of S.H.I.E.L.D. who originally recruited the Avengers and continues to be a mentor and leader for the team. Jackson described the role as a cameo, saying, "I'm just kind of passing by there ... Because, it's another one of those 'people who have powers fighting people who have powers'. That's why I didn't get to New York in The Avengers. There's not a lot I could do except shoot a gun."
Thomas Kretschmann and Henry Goodman reprise their roles as Baron Wolfgang von Strucker and Dr. List,Hydra leaders who specialize in human experimentation, advanced robotics, and artificial intelligence from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.Linda Cardellini portrays Laura Barton, Hawkeye's wife.Claudia Kim portrays Helen Cho, a world-renowned geneticist who helps the Avengers from her office in Seoul, and Andy Serkis portrays Ulysses Klaue, a black-market arms dealer, smuggler and gangster who is a former acquaintance from Stark's weapons-dealing days.Julie Delpy appears as Madame B., who mentored Black Widow into becoming an assassin.Kerry Condon voices the artificial intelligence F.R.I.D.A.Y., a replacement for J.A.R.V.I.S., while Spader also voices Stark's Iron Legion droids.Josh Brolin makes an uncredited appearance during the mid-credits scene as Thanos, reprising his role from Guardians of the Galaxy. Avengers co-creator Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance in the film as a military veteran who attends the Avengers' victory party.Tom Hiddleston was to reprise his role of Loki, but his scenes did not make the theatrical cut of the film.
"I have to make my movie assuming that people will only have seen the first one, or possibly not even seen the first one. I can't assume that everybody went to see Thor [The Dark World], Captain America [The Winter Soldier], and Iron Man  in-between. I have to go from one movie to the next and be true to what's happened, but not be slavish to it ... The model I'm always trying to build from, my guiding star, is The Godfather Part II where a ton has happened in-between and it's a very different movie [from The Godfather], but you don't need any information: it's there in the film."
In October 2011, Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios said the studio was beginning to look at their Phase Two films, which would start with Iron Man 3 and would culminate in a second Avengers film. In March 2012, Joss Whedon, director of the first film, stated that he would want a sequel to be "smaller. More personal. More painful. By being the next thing that should happen to these characters, and not just a rehash of what seemed to work the first time. By having a theme that is completely fresh and organic to itself." Despite the production of the film becoming increasingly wider in scope, Feige maintained that this was not their intention, always looking to see where the team wanted to take the characters, over how to make it bigger than The Avengers.
At the premiere of The Avengers, Feige said the studio had an option for Whedon to return as director. In May 2012, after the successful release of the first film, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced a sequel was in development. Most of the film's cast members were under contract to potentially appear in the sequel; however, Robert Downey Jr. was not, as his four-picture deal with Marvel expired after Iron Man 3.
At the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International, Whedon said he was undecided about directing. However, in August 2012, Iger announced that Whedon would return to write and direct the sequel and develop the Marvel television series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., for ABC. Later in the month, Disney set a May 1, 2015 release date. When asked about his decision to return, Whedon said, "Avengers 2, it wasn't a tough decision. For a long time I thought, 'Well, it's just not going to happen.' Then when I actually started to consider it, it became so clear that I desperately wanted to say more about these characters, it would've been an easy no and it was a spectacularly easy yes. There was no wrestling." Whedon said that they intended for the film's production to not be as rushed as the first one.
In December 2012, Whedon stated that he had completed an outline for the film. In February, at the 2013 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, Whedon said that death would play a theme in the sequel, and in March, he said that he looked to The Empire Strikes Back and The Godfather Part II as inspirations.
Feige revealed that Captain Marvel, who is scheduled to appear in her own MCU film in 2019, appeared in an early draft of the screenplay, but was removed since the character had not yet been cast, saying, "It didn't feel like the time. We didn't want to introduce her fully formed flying in a costume before you knew who she was or how she came to be." Whedon went so far as to shoot visual effects plates for Captain Marvel to fly into Avengers Tower at the end of the film; those shots were reused, however, for Scarlet Witch instead. Feige also revealed that an early draft of the script had Hulk's Quinjet detected near Saturn at the end of the film, but it was finally decided to keep it Earth-based and leave his fate ambiguous in order to dispel rumors that a film based on the "Planet Hulk" comic storyline was in development, which Marvel Studios had no plans to adapt at the time. Marvel would later decide to adapt "Planet Hulk" for the film Thor: Ragnarok, in which the Hulk does end up leaving Earth.
By April 2013, filming was scheduled to begin in early 2014 at Shepperton Studios in England. At the Hollywood premiere of Iron Man 3, Whedon said that he had completed a draft of the script, started the storyboard process, and met with actors. Whedon also mentioned that he wrote with Downey in mind and included a "brother/sister act" from the comic books, later confirming that he was referring to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Whedon explained his rationale for including the characters in the film saying, "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. There's good stuff that they can do that will help sort of keep it fresh," though cautioned he was not throwing in more characters for the sake of doing that. Whedon stated that the twins allowed him to add more conflict: "They don't like America, and they don't like the Avengers… The Avengers are like a world power, and not everybody's on board with the Avengers coming in and starting fights, even in the name of justice. So you need that dissenting voice, and you need to understand it and sympathize with it." Because Marvel Studios shares the film rights to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch with 20th Century Fox and had to avoid conflict with Fox's X-Men films, Whedon introduced two important characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe completely on his terms for the first time, which allowed him to connect their origin stories to the universe that they created and avoid the concept of mutants. Whedon relished at the storytelling opportunities by introducing a character with telepathic powers, explaining, "it meant we could spend a little time inside the Avengers' heads—either their past or their impressions of what's going on, or their fears, or all of the above." By May, Downey had entered negotiations to extend his contract with Marvel Studios and reprise his role as Iron Man in the film. A month later, Downey signed on to return for the then-untitled Avengers sequel, as well as a third Avengers film.
At the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International, Whedon announced the film would be subtitled Age of Ultron. Despite the subtitle, the film is not based on the 2013 comic book miniseries Age of Ultron. Feige explained that they simply liked the title Age of Ultron but the plot was taken from decades of Avengers story arcs. Whedon added that Ultron's origin would differ from his comics roots, and that Hank Pym would not be involved with Ultron's creation. Whedon disclosed that Edgar Wright had rights to the character first through his inclusion in Ant-Man, which was already in development. He also thought that Ultron needed to be conceived through the Avengers and since they already had Tony Stark and Bruce Banner on the team, it would not make sense to bring in a third scientist. Whedon also said the film would have a darker tone due to Ultron's involvement.
The title of the film came as a surprise to many fans who were expecting Thanos, the mastermind behind the events of the first film, to be the main villain in the sequel, with Whedon saying, "Thanos was never meant to be the next villain. He's always been the overlord of villainy and darkness." Commenting on finding the right balance between technology- and fantasy-based heroes in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Feige said "Iron Man is a very technological hero; his movies are always technologically based. The first Thor was all about introducing Asgard and Thor in that more fantastical realm into the more reality-based MCU… As we go into Ultron clearly he does come out of technology, but we're using all of our tools at our disposal that we've established so far as part of the MCU to build the storyline of Age of Ultron."
Casting continued into August 2013, with the announcement that James Spader would play Ultron. In November, Marvel confirmed that Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson would play the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, respectively. Taylor-Johnson had been in negotiations since as early as June, while Olsen's potential involvement was first reported in August. By the end of the year, Mark Ruffalo,Chris Evans,Samuel L. Jackson,Chris Hemsworth,Scarlett Johansson,Jeremy Renner and Cobie Smulders were confirmed to be returning to their roles from the first film, and Don Cheadle, who portrayed James Rhodes in the Iron Man films, had committed to a part in the film. In the early months of 2014, Thomas Kretschmann was cast as Baron Wolfgang von Strucker,Claudia Kim was cast in an unspecified role, and Paul Bettany, who voiced J.A.R.V.I.S. in previous MCU films, was cast as the Vision. Whedon said "juggling" all the characters in the film was "a nightmare" explaining, "They're very disparate characters. The joy of the Avengers is they really don't belong in the same room. It's not like the X-Men, who are all tortured by the same thing and have similar costumes. These guys are just all over the place. And so it's tough. Honestly, this is as tough as anything I've ever done."
On January 24, 2014, the Forte di Bard Association announced that filming would take place at Fort Bard in the Aosta Valley region of Italy in March 2014, as well as other locations in Aosta Valley including Aosta, Bard, Donnas, Pont-Saint-Martin, and Verrès. The next month, the Gauteng Film Commission announced that action sequences would be filmed in Johannesburg, South Africa and other locations in Gauteng, beginning in mid-February. A few weeks later Marvel announced that portions of the film would be shot in South Korea. Feige cited the nation's "cutting-edge technology, beautiful landscapes and spectacular architecture" as ideal for the film. The nation's capital, Seoul, and Seoul's surrounding province, Gyeonggi, were selected as filming locations, with South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism reimbursing up to 30% of the studio's expenditures, as part of a state-funded incentive program.
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 titleAfter 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. 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. Disney spent $330.6 million on Avengers: Age of Ultron from February 2013 to November 2014, but $50.7 million of this was offset by payments from the UK tax authority. A report on actual production costs for films from FilmL.A. Inc., indicated a gross budget of $316 million, with a net of $267.4 million for Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Cinematographer Ben Davis, who also worked with Marvel on Guardians of the Galaxy, shot the film with a main unit of three Arri Alexa cameras. Davis said, "Although the Alexa was Marvel's preferred camera, we weren't locked into that choice from the start. What wasn't negotiable was the fact that we were shooting digital: that's how Marvel shoots all of its films." Davis also used Blackmagic Design's Pocket Cinema Cameras to meet the needs of the second unit kit explaining, "The second unit typically needs a fleet of smaller cameras that are less expensive and are rugged enough to handle the various trials by fire, as it were, that we throw at them." About the camera system, Whedon stated that this film was shot very differently from the first one; using lots of long lenses, and that he aimed to shoot the film almost like a documentary. To create the scenes depicting how Quicksilver views the world, scenes were shot with an ultra-high-speed camera and later combined with shots of Taylor-Johnson moving through the same scene at normal speed.
In June 2014, the IMAX Corporation announced that the IMAX release of the film would be converted to IMAX 3D. Following the completion of principal photography several more cast members were revealed including Stellan Skarsgård,Anthony Mackie,Idris Elba, and Tom Hiddleston, reprising their roles from previous MCU films. However, Hiddleston's scenes did not make the theatrical cut of the film, with Whedon saying what was shot "didn't play" and he did not want the film to feel "overstuffed". According to Hiddleston, "In test screenings, audiences had overemphasized Loki's role, so they thought that because I was in it, I was controlling Ultron, and it was actually imbalancing people's expectations." Whedon later explained that Elba and Atwell appear in the film because of exploring the psyches of the Avengers from Scarlet Witch's power. In December 2014, Kim's role was revealed as Dr. Helen Cho. Additional scenes were scheduled to be filmed in January 2015 at Pinewood Studios. In February 2015, Marvel confirmed through promotional material that Serkis portrays Ulysses Klaue in the film. In early April 2015, Linda Cardellini and Julie Delpy were confirmed to be part of the film's cast. At the same time, Whedon stated that the film would not contain a post-credits scene, which had become customary for MCU films. Whedon tried to come up with a post-credit scene but felt that he could not top the "Shawarma scene" in The Avengers, explaining, "It didn't seem to lend itself in the same way, and we wanted to be true to what felt right. The first rule of making a sequel is take the best moments and do something else. Don't do the Indiana Jones gun trick again differently. Just go somewhere else. Don't try to hit the same highs, because people will sense it." However, Feige clarified, "There will be a tag [shortly after the credits start]. But there's not a post–post–credit scene."
In May 2015, Whedon revealed he was in conflict with Marvel executives and the film's editors about certain scenes in the film. The executives were not "thrilled" with the scenes at Hawkeye's farm or the dream sequences the Avengers experience because of Scarlet Witch. Also, Whedon had originally shot a much longer scene with Thor and Selvig in the cave but the final version is shorter as test audiences did not respond well to the original cut. In the scene, Thor would be possessed by a Norn, a goddess of destiny, while Selvig would quiz her about Thor's hallucination. Additionally, Whedon reiterated he had wanted to include Captain Marvel and Spider-Man at the end, but deals for each character (signing of an actress and a deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment, respectively) were not completed in time for their inclusion.
The film contains 3,000 visual effects shots, completed by ten different visual effects studios, including Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Trixter, Double Negative, Animal Logic, Framestore, Lola VFX, Territory, Perception, Method Studios, Luma Pictures and The Third Floor. ILM opened a facility in London, citing Avengers: Age of Ultron as a catalyst for the expansion, and developed a new motion capture system for the film called Muse, which can better capture an actor's performance and combine different takes. About the motion capture process, Ruffalo called it "more of a collaboration" since the technology is advancing, with "the face capture and the motion capture can now [being] put together, [allowing] you [to] get a lot more latitude as a performer… you're no longer constricted by the attributes that you have as a person: your age, or weight, or size. None of that matters anymore. And so there's this whole exciting place to go that is kind of unknown." Visual effects supervisor Christopher Townsend said that the visual effects team considered depicting the Hulk when manipulated by Wanda Maximoff as being grey skinned with red eyes, but eventually decided against it, as they did not want to confuse audiences who might associate it with "Joe Fixit", the grey Hulk from the comics.
Method Studios created the interior of the new Avengers training facility by digitally designing the training facility, extracting the characters from the original set and placing them into the new CG environment. Method also contributed to Iron Man's new Mark 45 suit and played a key role in creating Scarlet Witch's CG mind control effect. Following the trend in recent years, most of the computer screens in Stark's lab, Dr Cho's laboratory, the Quinjet and other locations in the film were not added in post-production but were actually working screens on set, adding to the realism of the film and saving some on the post-production budget. London-based Territory Studio delivered the screen visuals filled with unique imagery and animations that matched the character using them. Perception worked on the main-on-end and main titles for the film. Before settling on the marble monument depiction for the main-on-end titles, Perception created three other versions, which were based on Ultron's hive mind ability from the film, "renderings of power and pure energy" inspired by classic comic panels, and classic moments for each character. The final design was inspired by war monuments such as the Iwo Jima memorial. For the main titles, Marvel wanted the typeface to be a direct continuation of the first film. Perception made the typeface a marble texture to mimic the main-on-end titles and changed the title's rotation (away from the camera instead of towards the camera in The Avengers), before "Age of Ultron" overtakes "Avengers" in a vibranium texture.
Main article: Avengers: Age of Ultron (soundtrack)
In March 2014,