James Spader Cast as Villain Ultron in 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron'

August 29, 2013
Source: Marvel

Ultron / James Spader

Following a scene stealing performance in Steven Spielberg's historical biopic Lincoln last year, James Spader will return to the big screen in what will likely be the largest role of his career. Marvel has just announced that the actor who stars in the forthcoming NBC series "The Blacklist" has landed the role of the villain Ultron in the forthcoming sequel The Avengers: Age of Ultron. This is an unbelievably surprising casting decision, but following his odd, but lively turn in "The Office" in the later seasons, Spader seems like an amazing choice to play one of Marvel's most iconic comic book villains. But this likely means that one of the popular theories on how this villain comes into existence in the cinematic universe is out the window.

Back when Ultron was announced as the villain, there was an interesting theory going around about how Tony Stark may inadvertently create Ultron by way of his digital butler JARVIS. Here's what we wrote:

When Ultron first appeared in the late 60s, he used a brainwashed Edwin Jarvis, the butler of Tony Stark, in plans to take down The Avengers. Remember that Ultron is a living automaton who developed self-awareness and intelligence, turned on his creator and evolved into a supervillain. What's really interesting is that Feige has confirmed that the teaser video which revealed the title for The Avengers sequel indeed featured the helmet of Iron Man being slammed into the helmet of Ultron. Do you see what we're getting at? Perhaps Stark inadvertently creates Ultron by making some modifications to J.A.R.V.I.S. (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System) and the assistant goes rogue.

There's an unsubstantiated rumor going around that Paul Bettany, the voice of JARVIS, was being lined up to voice the villain, thus confirming the previous theory of Ultron's origins (which won't involve Ant-Man, Hank Pym). But with Spader's casting, we're inclined to believe that maybe it's not that simple. Unless that plot point still happens and the voice of JARVIS changes as his personality becomes more villainous. Either way, we're just extremely excited that someone like Spade got a huge role like this in the Marvel universe. His voice is intimidating even when calm, and we can't wait to see he does to The Avengers.

Find more posts: Casting, Marvel, Movie News



I like James Spader so i love the casting. I still absolutely hate the idea that they are doing ultron without hank pym.. its borderline criminal. Ill still flock to the theatre on opening day though.

Anon on Aug 29, 2013


My theory is that the Ultron plans were there for a bit but Edgar Wright took too long to get Ant-Man going. They will just move forward now.

Brandon V. Fletcher on Aug 29, 2013


My guess is that Ultron might beat the Avengers or escape, and then Ant-Man will have to rise up in his own film to stop him

Fidel Reyes on Aug 29, 2013


I really like this casting. He has a voice that is mischievous/dangerous (depending on the role) but yet calculating.

dbucks on Aug 29, 2013


Ok...good for him I guess.

Nathan Williams on Aug 29, 2013


This is another interesting casting decision for a major comic role that I won't judge until I see the finished product. However, I will say that every time I see James Spader I think Dr. Daniel Jackson. Thanks for the update Ethan...check that next to last sentence...left out the 'r' in Spader.

Gohikeone on Aug 29, 2013


I see "Steff".

cobrazombie on Aug 29, 2013


Ah good. Nice to see James' agent stepping up his game. Love the Spader.

avconsumer2 on Aug 29, 2013


One of those 'Well I didn't see that coming, but can totally see it working' type of choices.

Chris Groves on Aug 29, 2013



Quanah on Aug 29, 2013


I like Spader, he has a good villain voice, but still not happy about T. Stark creating Ultron. Dumbest thing ever.

blkstar on Aug 29, 2013


Spader and RDJ must have an epic snark-off.

DAVIDPD on Aug 29, 2013



ColtNoir on Aug 29, 2013


What what whaaaat??

TheOct8pus on Aug 30, 2013


let me elucidate the Question that the previous two posters have . Ultron should have some pretty epic fight scenes . Is Spader to old for a PHYSICALLY demanding role ? Or are all the fight scenes gona beshot from yards back so that we can't tell it's the stunt double ?

Dominic on Sep 3, 2013

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