Although Marvel Studios' "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" is still two years from hitting theaters, the studio announced the first major casting news today via Marvel.com: Emmy Award-winning actor James Spader has been cast as Ultron in Joss Whedon's "Avengers" sequel.
Spader won three Emmy awards between 2004 and 2007 for his role as Alan Shore on "The Practice" and its spinoff, "Boston Legal." More recently, he appeared in "Lincoln" and had a one-season stint on "The Office" as Sabre CEO Robert California. The actor previously shared the screen with "Avengers" star Robert Downey Jr. in 1985's "Tuff Turf" and 1987's "Less Than Zero."
Understandably, no other details were given about the capacity of Spader's role in the film, nor how Ultron gets introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While new animatics from "The Avengers" may reveal new details on Ultron's introduction, it's still very early to say for sure. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Whedon discussed his approach to Ultron, saying the villain's motivations extend beyond "standard robot stuff."
"He's got pain," Whedon said. "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 [Scarlet Witch] who's a witch."
"The Avengers: Age of Ultron" is scheduled for release on May 1, 2015