Few would deny that the approach has been anything other than Marvellous, a strategy a decade in the planning and execution which has seen ten linked films released already, most recently the barnstorming performance of the only outlier, Guardians of the Galaxy, leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the second most successful movie franchise of all time with an estimated cumulative $7.1 billion, though the release of the eleventh film, direct sequel to the most successful individual film in the sequence with a $1.5 billion global haul, is sure to take that total far past Harry Potter‘s cumulative $7.7 billion.
Avengers: Age of Ultron reunites original stars Robert Downey, Jr as Tony Stark, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Doctor Bruce Banner, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton, Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill in addition to legendary genre writer/director Joss Whedon.
Joining them are Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as siblings Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, the formidable duo of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, previously glimpsed in the final scenes of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and James Spader as the voice of Ultron.
Having witnessed the first trailer, leaked early following subversive action by Hydra, how do the Geek Chocolate team feel?
Garry Mac – I’m excited. Understatement perhaps, but there was a part of me that wondered how they’d pull off Ultron. So far though, we’ve got an AI with a dark humour and a vicious streak who knows everything about our heroes.
That’s just upped the stakes nicely, thank you. And with this movie looking like it could launch *at least* a Black Widow (ballerinas?) and Black Panther (if Andy Serkis is Klaw) movie, this all feels like the end of the beginning. And since Marvel’s hand was forced by, em, leakage, I’m hoping we’ll get a second trailer with Agents of SHIELD as originally planned…
Les Anderson – My excitement-o-meter has just been turned up to eleven. Considering there are seven months until release the visuals look amazingly polished. I just hope the story and characters aren’t diminished by them. Can’t wait. And is it in Hemsworth’s contract that he has to flash his pecs in every film?
Michael Flett – If it isn’t in his contract, it should be.
Matthew Rutland – Nope, nope nope. I have seen heard and read too much unwittingly, Marvel and DC are giving away too much of their films in a bid to outdo each other, and it’s starting to ruin it for me. I will not watch any trailers until the film is out.
Wes May – None of us were fully prepared for all of the Avengers: Age of Ultron awesomeness to be unleashed on us early, but thank the stars it was. As if I wasn’t anticipating this film enough, counting down the long months on my grubby geek fingers, now I got a teaser filled with all of the explosive, pulse-pounding, incredible Avengers epicness I’ve loved my whole life.
And Ultron? Oh lord, Spader’s husky, gravelly growl makes Ultron everything I ever dreamed. It’s like someone dragging concrete blocks across eqch other. Perfect! Seeing Iron Man’s Hulk-buster armor in all of it’s glory was just the massive, twenty ton cherry on top of the best ice cream sundae ever built. May 2015 cannot come soon enough.
Adam Dworak – I genuinely don’t understand all that excitement about The Avengers. Yes, it looks impressive with all those explosions and special effects and Chris Hemswoth flashing his naked bits (by the way – WOOF!) and yes, maybe it will be fun to watch but I will say “So what!”
It’s just another trivial story hidden behind the facade of CGI. I am tired of this constant flood of superhero movies at the expense of everything else. Is this really the best that science fiction has to offer these days, each new superhero film offering the same variety as a trip to McDonalds, Avengers Happy Meals to keep the masses fat and compliant, remakes and comics adaptations! Where is the variety, the adventure, the challenge? Where are all those undiscovered planets, vast galactic empires, robots and aliens promised us by Clarke, Asimov, Heinlein and others.
Truly we live in the dark ages for science fiction, which seems to be contrary to the purpose of the genre.
Michael Flett – It’s giving us glimpses of the characters and lots of bangs, but little else, but damn, it’s good to see these folk, Thor, Steve, Natasha, Nick, David (hey, he was David in the television show I grew up with in the seventies, alright… okay, Bruce), Tony – still light on the ladies, though, but at least we have two leads this time instead of one and a half…and does Hawkeye have a name? Clint? Seriously, Hawkeye is called Clint?
Things seem to be going grim – this is going to push them bad places, which is what Joss likes to do to his characters. Aw, frak – someone is going to die, aren’t they? In fact, there are going to be multiple heart crushing deaths of our most beloved characters? Why, Joss, why?
I’ve liked Aaron Taylor-Johnson in everything I’ve seen him in, Kick-Ass to Anna Karenina to Godzillato University Challenge (I was surprised by the question and delighted that I got the answer right!) and he is an absolute chameleon, he changes so much between roles, his appearance and his personality, but as good as I believe he’ll be as Quicksilver has to be better than Evan Peter’s scene stealing in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and that is quite the ask.
Aaron and Elizabeth are new to the mix, playing brother and sister rather than husband and wife as they did in Godzilla(that has to be weird!), and as everyone has said, technically it looks astonishing, but it is very strictly only a teaser and I fully expect we won’t get more until much closer to the time.
I’m not a comics person, I’ve only seen the first Avengers once (come on, release the full Blu-ray over here with the commentary already!) and I know none of these characters beyond the films, but this ensemble is indiputably one of the best ever put together on screen, rivalling even Days of Future Past.
Almost any one of these actors or characters can carry a film solo, put them together and it’s a licence to print money, and of course under our lord and master Joss, whom I have been a fan of since 1992 when I caught Buffy the Vampire Slayer at the cinema and thought it was like nothing I had ever seen before, and I have faith in him not only to entertain but to tell a great story and make us laugh and cry and love these people. It’s what he does.
My only fear is that as someone who gave up on Agents of SHIELD and who doesn’t have time to go back and pick up a whole season now that everyone is saying it actually became worth watching is that it there may be a requirement to know what is happening with those folk. Whatever, this will help tide us over until Star Trek III and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. 2016 and 2017 you say? Sheesh, this better be good.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is scheduled for release on 1st May, 2015