"Avengers: Age of Ultron" has reportedly signed on Emmy-winner James Spader to play the film's villainous robot out to destroy the Avengers.
Director Joss Whedon recently opened up about the new franchise baddie, an artificial intelligence with a god complex and some serious daddy issues.
“As a character I love him,” Whedon said, “because he’s so pissed off.”
In the original comics, Ultron is created by Hank Pym, known as Ant-Man, a good-guy hero with a knack for genius inventions. But when the self-aware Ultron starts building himself into stronger and more destructive models, and Pym doesn't approve of his murderous habits, Ultron turns against his creators.
Whedon has hinted that instead of Ant-Man showing up early (he's due to get his own feature film in 2015) to play a role in the next "Avengers," Ultron will have an entirely new origin story that could involve another character, potentially played by Elizabeth Olsen.
“I knew right away what I wanted to do with him,” Whedon added. “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. So we’ll take away some of those powers because at some point everybody becomes magic, and I already have someone [a new character, Scarlet Witch] who’s a witch."
It's not clear if Spader will just provide a voice for the completely inhuman Ultron, or perform motion-capture the way Mark Ruffalo does for his scenes as the giant green Hulk.
Spader is starring in "The Blacklist," the highly buzzy new drama debuting on NBC this fall, about an ex-government fugitive aiding the FBI.
"Avengers: Age of Ultron" is due out May 1, 2015.