James Spader

April 24, 2015 | 5:30 a.m.

Joss Whedon and cast face superheroic challenge in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

Chris Evans as Captain America, left, and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in "Avengers: Age Of Ultron." (Jay Maidment / Marvel Studios)
LONDON — A helicopter hovered in the July afternoon sky, cameras rolling on board, to capture the cascade of glass raining through the sky. An ear-shattering explosion had just blown out the windows of a multi-story structure, sending civilians running for cover and Captain America straight onto the windshield of a nearby car. Actor Chris Evans winced with pain as he peeled his battered superhero frame off the shattered vehicle. Moments later, he was in top form once more, striding through a field of crumpled vehicles next to Chris Hemsworth’s Thor to do battle with the mighty foe that gets title billing in this summer’s highly anticipated Marvel outing, “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” arriving May 1. “Some days, you’re like, can’t they just talk?” quipped writer-director Joss Whedon as he worked out some last-minute fight choreography with a stunt coordinator […]
April 23, 2015 | 11:58 a.m.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’: James Spader builds an idiosyncratic villain

Ultron, played through performance capture by James Spader, is the villain in Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron." (Marvel)
It takes a special sort of actor to embody a towering robotic villain with the ability to make Tony Stark lose his cool, but if anyone can fit that bill, it’s James Spader. The respected Emmy-winning actor (“The Blacklist,” “Boston Legal”) whose extensive filmography includes projects directed by the likes of Steven Spielberg, David Cronenberg and Steven Soderbergh, among others, joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the iconic comic book antagonist Ultron — a character that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige suggested might have a larger role to play beyond just the new sequel. Hero Complex caught up with Spader on his last day of filming “Age of Ultron” to learn what it’s like to inhabit such an unusual character and what drew him to the role. What interested you in playing Ultron? He’s certainly not your conventional villain. When […]
Nov. 12, 2014 | 11:38 a.m.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ trailer: Ultron threatens human extinction

A screenshot from the trailer for "Avengers: Age of Ultron." (Marvel)
An extended version of the “Avengers: Age of Ultron” trailer is out, offering a few more seconds of the villainous Ultron’s ominous monologue. “Age of Ultron,” which is due in theaters May 1, will reunite the Marvel superheroes, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) in a battle against Ultron (James Spader). The majority of the extended trailer features footage we’ve already seen in previous teasers, but adds a few additional moments. The trailer begins with Spader’s technological villain confronting the Avengers. “I know you mean well,” Ultron intones. “You want to protect the world, but you don’t want it to change. There’s only one path to peace. Your extinction.” Then the video launches into the previously released trailer for the film, […]
July 26, 2014 | 7:59 p.m.

Comic-Con: Marvel debuts ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ footage, dates ‘Guardians’ 2

Actors Josh Brolin and Robert Downey Jr. attend the Marvel Studios panel during Comic-Con International 2014 on July 26, 2014 in San Diego, Calif. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Marvel is famous for its Saturday Comic-Con International panel, and this year, the comic book studio didn’t disappoint — confirming that “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” will open on July 28, 2017, and debuting new footage from Joss Whedon’s highly anticipated 2015 release, “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Represented on stage by movies guru Kevin Feige, Marvel brought out the members of its sprawling A-list “Avengers” cast — Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Paul Bettany, James Spader and Elizabeth Olsen to wild applause (the crowd in the 6,500 seat Hall H had been chanting “Marvel” and doing the wave, rock concert-style, before the session even began). (If you’d prefer not to know anything about the “Avengers” sequel, this might be a good time to stop reading.) Although writer-director […]
Aug. 29, 2013 | 5:46 p.m.

James Spader as Ultron: ‘Avengers’ star Tom Hiddleston approves [poll]

(Marvel; Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
This morning’s news that James Spader will play the titular villain in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” has the Internet abuzz, with many Marvel fans applauding the casting decision. One of the Emmy-winning actor’s biggest endorsements comes from Tom Hiddleston, whose villainous shoes he will have to fill. Hiddleston portrayed Loki, the power-hungry demigod who faced off against Marvel’s mightiest in “The Avengers” last year. He also played Loki opposite Chris Hemsworth in 2011’s “Thor” and is reprising the role for this year’s sequel “Thor: The Dark World.” On Thursday, Hiddleston tweeted encouragement to Spader, one Marvel villain to another. Go on, James Spader. Go get 'em. @Avengers #AgeOfUltron — Tom Hiddleston (@twhiddleston) August 29, 2013 “Age of Ultron” director Joss Whedon also tweeted support for Spader, teasing fans who had referenced a Spader-Robert Downey Jr. reunion — the pair […]
Aug. 29, 2013 | 9:15 a.m.

James Spader cast as villain Ultron in Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

James Spader, right, has been cast as the titular villain in "The Avengers: Age of Ultron." (Dan Steinberg / Associated Press)
James Spader will play the titular villain Ultron in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Joss Whedon’s upcoming sequel to 2012’s “The Avengers,” Marvel announced Thursday. The film is set for release May 1, 2015. Spader joins the “Avengers” franchise as a respected, Emmy-winning actor (“The Practice, “Boston Legal”) with an extensive filmography that includes projects directed by the likes of Steven Spielberg, David Cronenberg and Steven Soderbergh, among others. He’s returning to television next month as the star of a new NBC series “The Blacklist,” playing an international criminal. Whedon is to film his highly anticipated sequel to “The Avengers” at Britain’s venerable Pinewood-Shepperton facility, the same soundstages that played host to Marvel’s upcoming “Thor: The Dark World,” set for release later this year. PHOTOS: Marvel’s Comic-Con announcements It’s unclear how closely the film will tie to the recently finished “Age […]
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