Faith D’Isa ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Executive Marketing Officer
Marvel’s released what’s believed to be the final trailer in anticipation of the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1st. Here, we’ll break down some new information and things you might have missed. Some spoilers for the film and comics ahead.
One thing we’ve been introduced to very early on is, although we know the Maximoff twins (portrayed by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen) are Avengers and will eventually join the team, the newcomers and the Avengers don’t start out on such great terms. In interviews in the new Empire Magazine this month, Taylor-Johnson admits that the twins will side with Ultron as a result of a hate for the Avengers and damage they’ve done to their home and family in Eastern Europe. The beginning of this new trailer sets us up for that, introducing Ultron’s plan; “I was designed to save the world. People would look to the sky and see… Hope. I’ll take that from them first. There’s only one path to peace. Their extinction.”
It’s not as if the Avengers won’t be prepared, though; unlike the last film, the Avengers are already working together when the big conflict begins in Age of Ultron. If you saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s post credits scene, you were introduced to an underground HYDRA base holding not only the twins, but also Loki’s staff from the previous Avengers film. According to Empire, the team goes in to retrieve the staff…and gets much more than what they bargained for.
But from the beginning, this is a team; we see that in the newly renovated Stark Tower–likely renamed Avengers Tower, emblazoned with the “A” symbol we’ve come to know very well. The team, however, is the source of the problem. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) admits that he tried to create a peacekeeping program, called the “Ultron Program,” but created something far worse: artificial intelligence. This confirms the theories that Ultron is a creation of Stark alone, perhaps with help from Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), whereas in the comics, there is involvement from the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym (to be portrayed in this summer’s film by Michael Douglas) who worked for a time for Stark Industries.
There’s also a lot of talk of consequence in the trailer–from Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), who watches a car he fails to save fall off a broken highway, “I’m sick of watching people pay for our mistakes.” Tony Stark laments, “Isn’t why we fight so we can end the fight and go home?”–flashing with one of the more controversial shots of the trailer, that of a very close Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). The “closer” relationship teased about by much of the cast and crew has been interpreted by many to be romantic, though there’s little basis for it in the characters in both the film and cinematic universes. Theories exist that this is a vision that has to do with Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, and illusions she’ll be putting in the Avengers heads. We know this leads to hints of Romanoff’s past in the Red Room and flashbacks to what could have been in Steve Rogers’ past (which is how Hayley Atwell, as Peggy Carter, will be making an appearance).
But the film is not without its humor, as well–immediately retorting Tony’s line is Romanoff; “Well, you amazingly failed.” with a laugh from Steve. Marvel knows that this film is going to have some heavy material, but they’re trying to make these characters real people, finding light moments in the darkness, and succeeding. Tony even remarks, “No way we all get through this.” to which Steve responds, “I got no plans tomorrow night.” After Steve’s shield gets knocked from his grasp, Natasha immediately picks it up, commenting, “I’m always picking up after you boys.” Thor (Chris Hemsworth) even gets a moment towards the end of the trailer, as robots come at them, asking “Is that the best you can do?” which Ultron responds to with even more robots.
The rest of the trailer is considerably more serious; with little word from Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), though a brightened shot confirms that what many thought was Ulysses Klaw, a Black Panther villain thought to be played by Andy Serkis in the film, is actually a new arrow mechanism for the archer. Natasha also has some new gear with stun batons and a motorcycle. It’s steps turning the two members of this team who started out as “normal” SHIELD Agents into “superheroes”.
Also to be noted is the progression of Dr. Banner and the Hulk in the trailer; in previous footage, we’ve gotten shots of him looking extremely shaken up as Banner. Then, there’s the never to be forgotten Hulkbuster fight that’s been shown off, pitting Tony versus the Hulk in a much larger Iron Man suit. From the red glow around the Hulk’s eyes in these shots, now comparing to a shot of Wanda Maximoff with Natasha, it looks as if Scarlet Witch is controlling the Hulk in this fight–likely why he’s so out of sorts in other footage as Banner.
Another “blink and you’ll miss it” scene is seen above in a face-off between the “big three”–Captain America, Iron Man and Thor–and Ultron and the Maximoff twins. It’s hard to place exactly where in the timeline we’ll find this scene–as it’s obviously after the twins meet Ultron in the first shot of the trailer, and after the HYDRA base incident, but before they’re at all out war. Marvel managed to pack a lot into these two minutes. “We can tear them apart from the inside out” Ultron says in a voiceover, juxtaposed with clips from the Hulkbuster fight and a new shot of Wanda and Natasha. That’s one of the nicest shots we get of the Scarlet Witch’s magic being used, giving Natasha’s eyes the same red quality as the Hulk’s from past trailers. We also get our first really nice shot of Marvel’s use of Pietro, aka Quicksilver, and his super speed.
But if there’s one thing the trailer gave us, it’s that this is a film about the destruction–and rebuilding–of this team. The shot above shows us that at least Wanda Maximoff will end up fighting side by side with the Avengers, and according to Aaron Taylor-Johnson, they twins are a team no matter what. So what’s left to be seen is the journey of these characters and what leads them to side with people they seem bent on destroying at the start of the film.