James Spader to play Ultron in Avengers sequel

James Spader to play Ultron in Avengers sequel
James Spader. Photo: AP
Published: 3:08 PM, August 30, 2013
Updated: 2:50 PM, August 31, 2013

LOS ANGELES — Boston Legal star James Spader will square off against Earth’s mightiest heroes as the malevolent robot Ultron in Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.

For non-fanboys, Ultron is a powerful artificial intelligence who, taking the form of a shiny humanoid robot, brings the super-team to its knees. To what extent Spader will actually play Ultron — as opposed to just doing voiceover — will depend on how much license Joss Whedon takes with the Ultron story, which the director has already indicated will stray from the recent comic book run of the same title.

The high IQ part should be no problem for Spader, who revels in roles that allow him to be quick-witted with a gift for the gab, such as that of white-shoe lawyer Alan Shore on Boston Legal. He won three Emmys for playing that particular part and he has a silky voice that drips with menace if needed.

Other credits include a tortured bohemian in Sex, Lies and Videotape, a nefarious preppy in Pretty in Pink, a schlubby scientist in Stargate and a back-stabbing corporate striver in Wolf.

The Avengers’ return to the big screen will once again be overseen by Joss Whedon and will star Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth. The film hits theatres on May 1, 2015.

Marvel’s The Avengers was the third-largest grossing movie of all time, racking up US$1.5 billion (S$1.9 billion) worldwide when it debuted last year. The sequel will be the highest profile role of Spader’s career, which boasts a distinguished resume of mostly indie films. REUTERS