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Marvel’s Kevin Feige on Casting James Spader For ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’


So … why James Spader?

It’s a question a lot of fans unfamiliar with the actor’s work asked when he was announced as the titular robot nemesis of Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron. For one, Spader isn’t exactly a marquee name these days, despite his work on NBC’s The Blacklist. Besides, Ultron’s just a robot, right? Why not hire an A-list actor for the voice work, a la Bradley Cooper as Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Rocket Raccoon?

Foolish considerations, all of them. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige tells The Huffington Post that Ultron “will be more than a voice role,” with Marvel planning to capture Spader’s “face and his body to create a whole performance.” When imagining Spader’s snarling grin and snarky one-liners, it’s easy to see why both of those fit well within Marvel’s vision of Ultron.

“He’s a very unique and incredibly exciting and unpredictable actor,” Feige said. “And Ultron in the comics is a robot, but what’s cool about him in the comics — and certainly how Joss Whedon is interpreting him for the movie — is that he is much more than just a robot. That he’s infused with much character. And I don’t want to say too much, but you can imagine James Spader will be very dynamic in his portrayal of the character.”

“We did not hire James Spader to do a robot voice,” he added.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters on May 1, 2015.


  • Mike James

    The more I watch the Blacklist, the more excited I get for Spader as Ultron….his acting style is the perfect foil for a guy like Tony Stark- I can already picture his biting remarks getting under Stark’s skin

  • demoncat_4

    nice for given how james does red on the black list , it would be a waste of marvel to just have him voice ultron when he could pull off and show how evil Ultron truely is .even if its still mostly James doing motion capture cgi for Ultron.

  • Alex

    Sure, he’ll be great. Have you ever seen Mannequin? That’s a villain for the ages. :)
    I saw Mannequin a long time ago, again. I realized that goofy character was played by him.

  • Jimmy

    Exactly what I thought. In Avengers, Stark always had the upper hand in his verbal exchanges with Loki. I don’t see that happening with Spader’s Ultron.
    His repartee on Boston Legal is a good example of how cutting he can be in his remarks. Looking forward to it.

  • PietroMaximoff

    snarling grin? u do realize it will be a robot right?

  • Zagreus

    Yeah, I don’t know why people would even question Spader. “Why not Bradley Cooper?” The question itself is stupid. Spader is a well known actor. This is why Marvel is kicking ass, they put the right person in the right role.

  • doughboy

    Sure, Robert Downey Jr. will be great as Tony Stark; James Spader will be great as Ultron; I’m sure “Avengers: Age of Ultron” will be something to see…but I don’t see how it’ll be as great as they were in “Tuff Turf”.

  • DonnaBrazileRocks

    What do you mean Spader isn’t a marquee name ……………………………………………………………………………………… I’m really offended that you said Bradley Cooper is a more A-list choice …………. lol LOL lol LOL lol