Depending on who you talk to, Ultron (James Spader) and Avengers: Age of Ultron might be two of the most divisive pieces of the lore behind Marvel Studios' shared cinematic universe. Some five years after the film's release, Spader's antagonist is in the spotlight again after a surplus of concept art of the character has started to surface online. Just last month, a batch of art from Marvel's visual development department showed the character in a downright terrifying fashion and now, another set of concept art shows the baddie in a new light, much smaller than the final product that ended up on the screen.
Earlier this week, development artist Phil Saunders shared three Ultron images, showing the iconic Marvel villain as a version much skinnier than what appeared on-screen.
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In the MCU, of course, Ultron was created after Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr.) programming for a planetary defense system because sentient and built itself an army. Despite the actions leading to the destruction of Sokovia and, in turn, the introduction of the Sokovia Accords, Avengers director Joe Russo said last year Stark was still in the right from creating the software.
"He was not wrong that there was a great threat coming, and they needed to build a suit of armor around the world," co-director Joe Russo told Slate. "And at what point do civil liberties trump—no pun intended—do civil liberties come before the government's ability to protect its citizens?"
"I think what's interesting is that to some extent, they had to go through this," the director continued. "There was a sense of destiny to this. They had to go through it to win it. And in a way both he and Cap were right."
Interestingly enough, James Spader's name was not one of the dozens included in the initial unveiling of MCU actors returning to voice their characters in Marvel's What If...?, an animated show currently in development by Marvel Studios for Disney+.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is now streaming on Disney+.
If Ultron returns to the MCU, where do you think he'd pop up next? Think it over and let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting me up on Twitter at @AdamBarnhardt to chat all things MCU!