‘Age of Ultron’ gives views a look into the future


photo by Kim Rooney

Senior Christina Hnatov in front of the Arclight display for Age of Ultron.

By Kim Rooney, Senior Writer

Since 2012, Marvel fans have been awaiting the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron. After three long years, the wait has finally come to an end.

Action and Avengers will come together May 1 when Age of Ultron, directed by Joss Whedon (Firefly), is released in theatres.

“I love Marvel movies, and The Avengers is one of my favorites, so as soon as I heard about a second movie, I was pumped,” senior Jaclyn Shin said.

Adding on to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Age of Ultron follows the established Avengers, two new heroes, and an android as the peacekeeping program “Ultron” targets humanity as the greatest threat to peace. However, after 10 movies in the MCU, Marvel has set high standards that many fans expect them to meet and surpass.

Although only teasers and sneak peeks were shown throughout 2013 and most of 2014, when the trailer was leaked online last October, it spread so quickly that Marvel officially uploaded it on YouTube early, despite initial plans to air it during the Oct. 28 episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. With its chilling version of Pinocchio’s “I’ve Got No Strings” and James Spader (Lincoln) as Ultron’s voice-over, the trailer broke the record for number of view in 24 hours: 34.4 million.

“It looks absolutely incredible, and I adore what they did to that Pinocchio song even if it will haunt my dreams for eternity,” senior Savannah Chapa said.

Not only did Age of Ultron beat Iron Man 3’s previous record of 23.14 million views in the first 24 hours, it is also a noted increase from The Avengers’ 20.4 million back in 2012. The Avengers grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide, over 200 million of that from opening weekend, and if views and box office sales are any indication, Age of Ultron will be a financial success. Some fans even want to get a head start on opening weekend by attending specials and midnight premieres.

“Hopefully I’ll see it on April 30,” senior Christina Hnatov said. “Arclight is doing a special double feature where they are showing the first one and then Age of Ultron.”

However, Marvel fans still have worries, several of which are based in the ever-growing cast of superheroes. Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and The Vision, played by Elizabeth Olsen (Godzilla), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Godzilla) and Paul Bettany (Mortdecai), respectively, will join the established Avengers: Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye and the Hulk, played by Chris Evans (Snowpiercer), Chris Hemsworth (Snow White and the Huntsman), Robert Downey Jr. (The Judge), Scarlett Johannson (Lucy), Jeremy Renner (American Hustle) and Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher).

“Casting for The Avengers is fine, but I would have definitely liked some more diversity with the new ones,” Chapa said.

Another problem is the sheer size of the cast. Fan favorites such as Nick Fury, Loki and Agent Carter, played by Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction), Tom Hiddleston (War Horse) and Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter) are also featured in the movie. However, it may be hard for each character to get the screen time and development many fans think they deserve.

“I’m kind of worried it won’t live up to my expectations, especially because they are adding even more characters,” Hnatov said.

Although fans have concerns, Marvel will have plenty of chances to redeem itself if necessary. Marvel has released the titles and release dates of the next 11 MCU movies, several of which feature comic book characters such as Ant-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Doctor Strange. Sequels of previous fan favorites, including Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor, are also on the list, in addition to a two-part addition to The Avengers movies, Infinity War.

“I’m really excited about some of the movies like Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” Shin said. “Some of the new series will be interesting because I’m not too familiar with them, so that raises some concerns, but Marvel always delivers, so I’ll continue to have high expectations.”

Although the characters and movie plots are based on Marvel comic series, the MCU has established a separate canon universe, and it is expected that the new movies will continue to differ from the comic books.

“I expect a significant level of similarity between the two, so that I know what character is what, but I don’t care, for example, how the characters look, unless it affects who or what they are,” Lee said. “As long as the movies and comics are good in their own mediums, I’m good.”

With new villains and heroes, Marvel is pushing forward into a new era of movies, and many believe Age of Ultron will be a fantastic start.

“I think it’s going to be on the level of Iron Man and Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Lee said. “It’s going to be as good as those two movies, or raise the bar for future MCU films.”