James Spader to Play Ultron in THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

     August 29, 2013


Marvel is continuing their streak of casting great actors in their films.  The studio has announced that they’ve cast three-time Emmy winner James Spader as the villain Ultron in Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers: Age of Ultron.  Naturally, there are no details beyond the casting.  Since Ultron is a humanoid robot, will Spader do motion-capture, or will he just be providing the voice?  How will it fit into Spader’s schedule if his new series The Blacklist (which looks quite good) is picked up for a full season?  Obviously, we have no idea how Spader will voice the part, but he’s an actor I like, and I’ll be curious to see what he does with the role.

Hit the jump for the press release.  The Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1, 2015.

the-office-james-spaderHere’s the press release via Marvel.com:

James Spader will face off against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as the villain in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the sequel to 2012’s record-breaking “Marvel’s The Avengers.” The Emmy Award-winning actor will play Ultron in the Avengers’ much anticipated return to the big screen from writer/director Joss Whedon. The film comes to theaters on May 1, 2015.

Spader earned three Emmy Awards for his role as Alan Shore on “Boston Legal” and “The Practice,” and will return to television this fall in NBC’s highly anticipated series “The Blacklist.” Most recently Spader was seen in the critically-acclaimed film “Lincoln” directed by Steven Spielberg and has previously worked with a long list of accomplished film directors including David Cronenberg, Curtis Hansen, Sidney Lumet, Mike Nichols, Tim Robbins, Robert Rodriguez, Steven Soderbergh, and Oliver Stone.  David Mamet also directed Spader in the Broadway play Race.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” will bring the Marvel Universe’s biggest heroes together again to face one of their biggest villains, with “Marvel’s The Avengers” director Joss Whedon returning to write and direct the sequel. “Marvel’s The Avengers” was released in 2012 and went on to earn $1.5 billion worldwide, making it the third-largest grossing movie of all time.

Spader is represented by ICM Partners and his lawyer Melanie Cook at Ziffren Brittenham.


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  • Bob

    Well, I have heard he is a great actor, but I haven’t seen anything with him. Or anything i remember at least. Seems like good casting though cause I all hear of him is great things. I’ll see Lincoln soon, does he have a big part in that film?

    • LPFreak64

      I highly recommend checking out the early seasons of Boston Legal. The chemistry between him and The Shat is brilliant.

      • Bob

        Alright, been looking for a show to binge on so this is the perfect opportunity. Will do, thanks.

      • Brendan Rice

        The one line I will never forget from that series is where he unabashedly states “I always keep a clean penis” after going to shake hands with a woman after peeing without washing.

      • ThatGuy

        BL was where i fell in love with Spader. His voice is incredibly versatile and I can’t wait to see how he handles Ultron.

      • Lex Walker

        Crap, now you’ve got me wanting to go rewatch Boston Legal. Goodbye weekend, hello BL binge.

      • Solgazer

        Very, very true. Loved their cigar banter on the balcony.

    • ch3irizarry

      I bet you must have seen Stargate. I know its not the best film to measure the quality of actor he has become, but still. Its a rather famous 90′s movie and he is the main character.

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  • Colonel_Neville_Wraithchild


  • Come on now

    WHAT?! Ben Affleck would have been PERFECT for Ultron!

    • Bucky

      He would be perfect as any role. Am hoping they do a Jaws remake so they can cast him as the shark.

      • brett1368

        I thought it would be better if he was cast as Frodo in the Lord of The Rings remake. You know, because, it’s friggin Frodo, not King Lear for god’s sake!

      • Nerdgasm

        Wow… you guys must cry over the dumbest things in life… I pity all of you and I pity your mothers who still pack your lunches, makes you mac n cheese and tucks you into your Optimus Prime sheets with a kiss at night – while you’re at the ripe age of Forty….sad sad sad.

  • Sawyer

    Wow, that’s awesome! He’s a talented actor and I’m happy to see him in a role as large as this. I’d be fine with him just providing the voice of Ultron. He’s got a great voice for a villain. Also excited to see him in The Blacklist!

    • http://zoelogie.tumblr.com/ Baby Jean

      Me too. The only network TV show I’m looking forward to this September.

  • etguild2

    A good choice! Strange that Marvel would cast Ultron (and Scarlet Witch) before Rocket Raccoon though!

    • Kevin

      Or Thanos…even though he’s probably already been announced under a different character name (The Collector).

      • http://zoelogie.tumblr.com/ Baby Jean

        I think the Collector’s a completely different character.

      • Kevin

        In the comics, yes. I think they are pulling a DKR/Iron Man 3/Star Trek Into Darkness where someone is not who they say they are.

      • http://zoelogie.tumblr.com/ Baby Jean

        Ah, could be. I have to admit the real Collector is a pretty obscure character to the uninitiated. Plus he’s kind of useless most of the time, so staying canon with him would confuse things.

      • Nerdgasm

        Go reread the comics again. He’s a HUGE part of the Thanos storyline the Collector is needed.

      • Kevin

        Oh ok. If Del Toro is just playing the Collector, then it is weird they haven’t announced a Thanos.

      • Nerdgasm

        Not really. I mean – gun has basically said that they aren’t doing Mo-Cap that most of the things that are CG in GOTG are going to be strictly from scratch. Like it hasn’t been announced yet but it seems Diesel will be voicing Groot but he won’t be on set ever. This just kind of squares the deal that Spader will be doing Mo Cap on set since they need to pin him down now for the entirety of the shoot. Someone like Thanos and Rocket Racoon which it sounds like are going to be just VOICE ACTING they can be cast at anytime and usually aren’t called for until POST.

  • GrimReaper07

    That is a weeeeeeeeeeeiiiird choice, although I know nothing about Ultron. Still, Spader is a fantastic actor. This can only be great news.

  • Davis

    No sarcy comments matt? He’s only really done tv, i thought that would be something to comment on

    • Ben

      @ Davis, here’s why —> “he’s an actor I like, and I’ll be curious to see what he does with the role.” In Mr. Goldbergs all-knowing-trend-setting opinion, this is a good thing. I’m sure Marvel can relax now that their casting meets the highest standards! ;-)

    • Liderc

      Only done TV? You must be young, he’s been in dozens of films. The majority in the ’80s. He’s even done a film with Robert Downey Jr. where he made him his bitch. Plus he was just in Spielberg’s Lincoln.

      • Davis

        Sarcasm love

      • Nerdgasm

        Make your sarcasm actually work then other wise your jokes come off as you being a huge dickhead. You’re not funny and this was an ill attempt. People like you Davis make this site horrible to come to and read cause your comments are rooted in bitter hate. It’s not Matt that makes me hate this site, It’s self indulged little assholes like yourself that seem to think it’s funny to critisize a BLOG. This is a glorified BLOG that’s all that it is – which means these guys can put their own voice on it. Adam does it all the time too but no one yells at him and it’s just because Matt is a realist who has been white washed, in your defense, in seeing a lot of movies which means his standards are high. Get off it seriously. You lot are fucking annoying.

  • Daniel O’Reilly

    That was unexpected. He’s never been in anything remotely similar. But then again, he does creepy and robotic without trying, so he might be perfect.

  • Alex Hajna

    2013: the year of weird casting news…

  • Matt

    Won’t his voice likely be altered a bit anyway? I doubt anyone will watch the film, even knowing Spader, and think, “That’s Spader!”. I will say this is a very inspired choice.

  • Travis Gowen

    Since this is a Marvel decision it is obviously a great move! Obviously joking for those who struggle to grasp that concept.

    Honesty, they could have cast Pee Wee Herman to voice Ultron and I would still throw my money at them to see this movie.

    • Jonboy

      I agree. Plus it’s just his voice (possibly with some effects to make it sound more robotic) It will be good.

      P.S. Pee Wee as Ultron would be funny

      • http://zoelogie.tumblr.com/ Baby Jean

        And terrible.

  • Wunderdumm

    Betcha they are saving Betany for The Vision….

  • Tey

    Paul Bettany is already Jarvis!

    • Wunderdumm

      buuuuut, if tony is going to create Ultron, and Ultron creates the Vision… then why doesn’t it make sense that he uses Jarvis as the base for the Vision.

      • Nerdgasm

        Plus in the comics uses Vision to hack the computers and use all the Avengers moves against them so it would make sense that bettany would be Vision. Being as Jarvis is probably also the main hub computer program for the Avengers Mansion.

      • Littertray

        Plus seeing as Jarvis will still be in The Avengers, changing the voice makes sense to give the impression of an evil version of Jarvis. Hate to say it but using the same voice for both characters would cause confusion for a lot of moviegoers. Plus this way they can use Jarvis to try and beat Ultron.

  • Ty

    A joke this is. A joke – a JOKE! This pudgy bald guy is going to play a ruthless killing machine?

    • Lex Walker

      That’s the incredible thing about voice acting, it doesn’t matter how you look physically. Don’t be embarrassed if you didn’t know that, voice acting is a brand new concept, like sarcasm.

    • brett1368

      Don’t worry, Spader will be great. It’s Ultron, not King Lear!

    • Kevin

      John C. Reilly is playing a Nova character lol.

      • Nerdgasm

        He;s playing the Chief of Nova corps… or the guy who eventually gets there. In the comics he doesn’t do anything but just walk around and ask for reports. so Rielly fits shut your fucking face if you don’t the facts.

      • Kevin

        Touched a nerve.

      • Guest

        Is the Marvel Now series good?

      • Kevin

        Is the new series any good?

      • NICK НΛRT

        john c. reilly is an academy award nominated actor. what are you loling at

      • Kevin

        Google Reilly then his character. (i’m sure they’ll make him some random commander type, but still funny.)

    • https://www.facebook.com/MyPassion4Life?ref=hl Javan Clark

      Who would you rather have, ya fat nerd? Spader is a great choice, and as a fan of the material it’s nice to see Marvel going after the best talent available.

      Great choice!

  • Ted

    stop adding your personal feelings to every article just report the news!!

    • Nerdgasm

      This isn’t a news site it’s a commercialized BLOG which means they are paid to give their personal gripe and feelings. STFU you stupid little dumbass.

  • brett1368

    WOW! Those side by side pics are incredible… Spader looks just like him! ; )
    Just kidding, Spader will rock!

  • http://zoelogie.tumblr.com/ Baby Jean

    I like this casting choice. Spader’s quite capable. He has a very specific kind of voice, capable of conveying a wide variety of emotions at the drop of a dime. I think he’s going to kill this. I’m especially looking forward to the potentially hilarious banter he could have with RDJ’s Stark (even though I guess Ultron’s a pretty serious charecter). Can you imagine Stark, Ultron and Loki verbally sparring ? Gold, I tell ya (=^_^=)

  • eternalozzie

    Cool … as long as Ultron is Ultron from the comic book … maybe it could be a lame criminal pretending to be Ultron … they’ve already screwed this up by not having Doctor Pym create Ultron.

    • Nerdgasm

      How does it screw it up? Ultron is a robot that creates it’s own sentience. The story lines that happen after are the most important to Ant Man turning into Yellow Jacket can still be made even without Pym making him. The creation of Ultron really doesn’t have any concrete bearing in having Pym do it. None whatsoever. It screws nothing up you are just a realist that can’t let go which is annoying to say the least.

      • eternalozzie

        Ultron is at the very heart of who the AntMan character is … why he is the way he was. Would Captain America be the same character if you took away Red Skull? … a character’s arch enemy is one of the most defining points of who the hero is. Batman would not be Batman without The Joker.

      • Nerdgasm

        Technically Cap and Bats would still be Bats and Cap – their stories just wouldn’t be as riveting cause it’s something we are use to. That’s all. Which is what you are getting stuck on. they didn’t screw up anything. I love the character of the original Hank Pym but he has been redone and redone because I don’t think the creators of comics know what to do with his character. the ultron [Which can be argued wether that's his main bad guy being as he can't fight Ultron alone. I wouldn't say that Ultron is his Joker. Sorry.]story lines, his kidnapping of Wasp, her death, Hank’s depression and returning as yellow jacket is pulled down with campy melodrama that isn’t needed. it can be done better and maybe Marvel has found a good way for him to show up.

  • Faptain America

    EXCELLENT CHOICE!! Love James Spader. Can’t wait to see him square off against RDJ.

    • Lex Walker

      You’ll really only *hear* him square off against RDJ

      • Faptain America


  • stirred

    “Since James Spader is a humanoid robot…” That’s about right….

  • poppincherry

    Ultron will be just another baddie the fantastic fucks will fight until the end not the 3rd act when someone finds out how to stop him. It will most likely be Tony since he’s the genius.
    He’ll get his sky net robot jarvis to penetrate Ultron’s inner core, throw in some malware and viola! Bitch be vulnerable. Then the cast will descend onto Ultron whopping his ass every which way til Sunday.
    And Tony will most likely keep some part of him. You know because Tony would do that.

  • Solgazer

    Perfect voice for this part. Marvel with casting (directors and actors) is like Pixar with story and animation – peerless.

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  • andi

    best. news. ever.

  • jeff


  • Alex

    He´s good! i love him, but isnt Ultron is supposed to be a robot?

  • stylus59

    sex, lies, and videotape. nuff said.

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  • JBug

    this is a very solid choice. I am always impressed with Marvel’s efficient casting (RDJ, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt). This is the opposite of DC casting a major character with a big name like Affleck.

    Spader is someone with such a powerful and controlled voice that will project a lot of emotion and fear simultaneously.

    • eternalozzie

      RDJ was a Hollywood giant long before Iron Man.

      • JBug

        He really wasn’t. He wasn’t consistently getting big roles before IM. I don’t know how you could call him a giant. He had the potential to be a big star, but he didn’t begin to actualize it until after 2008 (Iron Man). I was just commenting on how Marvel is efficient in their casting. They don’t hire stars in the prime, like Affleck and DC, they find undervalued actors and find really good roles for them.

        Examples of this were RDJ (perfectly casted), Hemsworth (perfectly casted), and Chris Pratt/Spader (we’ll have to wait and see).

      • eternalozzie

        Weird Science, Back To School, Johnny Be Good, Less Than Zero, Chances Are … all classics … plus some I have forgotten I’m sure … the world did exist before 2008.

      • JBug

        Don’t be so naive. These are not classics. These are not movies that people have to see, even if they are nostalgic pieces from the 80′s (not exactly the golden age of movies). The average movie goer has not scene these movies.

        You are also proving my point. Just because he was a star in the 80′s, that does not make him a “hollywood giant” in 2007 20 years later (even if you were a fan of his work). Also, don’t pretend there isn’t a difference in his career before Iron Man and after.

      • nerdgasm

        What are you talking about? RDJ Has been around forever and had top billing on many movies not to mention an Oscar Nomination in the early nineties. I knew who he was in the nineties and I was born in 88. RDJ has always been respected and given top roles – he fucked them over by doing drugs and not giving a shit. You must be REALLLLLLLY super young or blind. In either case I forgive you.

      • JBug

        See comment above. I didn’t say he was unknown or not talented. I am saying he was undervalued, which is evinced by the point that in every single since Iron Man, has STARRED in at least one block buster every year. How can you compare that guy, to the one who averaged a crappy role here and there for over 10 years? Are you debating the fact that he was undervalued in 2007? If so, please back it up with logic.

      • Nerdgasm

        I think you are mixing up the materialized “MADE ACTOR” with one we see in blockbusters constantly which isn’t the case. There are plenty of actors who don’t star in BLOCKBUSTER fair but are household names – or ones who have just one or two on their list and are MADE ACTORS. reword your usage unless you think frivolous is what makes an actor.

      • Nerdgasm

        By the way STARRING and TOP BILLED actors can change from pic to pic on how many are on the billing. But if you look at everything from 1990 and on Downy was TOP billed meaning his name didn’t appear with : WITH, AND or ALSO before it and he wasn’t in miscellaneous casting which happens AFTER the person with the before mentioned prefixes before them.

      • JBug

        Try not to set up my pins so you could knock them down (you’re putting words in my mouth). My point is very simple: RDJ was a talented actor who had not had big name work in many years. Marvel said, let’s use this guy who is very talented, but is not currently a big star, and make him Iron Man. After that, RDJ could work on any project he wanted. Hemsworth, was a no name until Thor, and has since gotten several roles is large projects (there are currently billboards with just his image for Rush all of LA). Pratt is a funny-boy from a popular TV show, who Marvel picked up for a lead in it’s next big franchise.

        RDJ pre-Iron Man career was not the focal point of my initial comment, but if you guys want to debate it, you’re still going to have to make a point instead of trying to warp mine.

        I think you are just defensive of talented actors who aren’t necessarily main stream.

      • nerdgasm

        No I am not putting word sin your mouth or missreading what you are saying. when RDJ came back [it wasn't that studios were turning him down. they were initially which is why he went into rehab.] Hollywood was a flutter but there was still the sideways glance at his tract record and he had solid roles in movies that became high profile movies – his name alone coupled ith some of the movie makers involved were why Myself adn countless others [if you read comments] went and saw movies like Zodiac, Kiss Kiss Ban Bang and A Scanner Darkly. This was the same thing when Mickey Rourke started popping up in the mmovies again and then had the turn at Marv in Sin City. people were excited because these were two very well known actors that have had carried movies on their shoulders before, that have shown they have what it takes and even got themselves MADE but lost everything cause of personal choices in taking drugs. RDJ isn’t and wasn’t in the same boat as Pratt or Hemsworth which was my point. RDJ has respected, by studios and audiences, three decades worth of work that landed him certain jobs that came to his COMEBACK not his birth. Hemsworth and Pratt sure you can argue marvel had a place in their birth [we will see about Pratt] and I would argue if Ultron boosts Spader from character actor to something more then you can give spiff to marvel for that too but RDJ is a different monster and Marvel had nothing to do with his birth and was just a stepping stone for his comeback. that is all.

      • JBug

        I think you’re still missing the point. I am not claiming Marvel found RDJ. I am not saying he has the same story as pratt or hemsworth. I am commenting how Marvel found someone who was not currently hot and they made him hot. They create value instead of using already valuable commodities. I agree with all of the points you made, but that doesn’t negate the fact that his value increased immensely after Iron Man.

  • Greyson

    Love it.

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