As preparations are well underway for Marvel’s sequel The Avengers: Age of Ultron, writer/director Joss Whedon continues to finalize his cast. Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, and Samuel L. Jackson are all poised to reprise their roles in the follow-up, and Whedon has added a few exciting new characters to the mix: brother/sister duo Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, and robot villain Ultron. James Spader is signed on to play Ultron, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen are in different stages of negotiations for Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, respectively.
Jackson—who just made a cameo on ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—recently spoke a bit about the follow-up, confirming that Olsen will indeed be playing new Avengers member Scarlet Witch and noting that filming will begin next March in London. Hit the jump for more.
Speaking with The Wall Street Journal, Jackson reiterated a couple of facts about Age of Ultron that have been in various stages of confirmation over the past few months:
“I don’t think we begin shooting before March of next year. I know we’re shooting in London, that James Spader is Ultron and going to be the bad guy, and that we added Ms. [Elizabeth] Olsen [who will play the Scarlet Witch], but I don’t know what she’s doing, if she’s on the inside or the outside. I haven’t seen a script.”
Marvel has yet to confirm either Olsen or Taylor-Johnson as Scarlet Witch or Quicksilver and Jackson certainly isn’t in a position to announce casting, but given that we last heard that Olsen was in “final negotiations” for her role, it seems pretty safe to go ahead and pencil her in for the Scarlet Witch character. As for Taylor-Johnson, he has spoken publicly about his negotiations over the Quicksilver role, so one assumes he’s just in a different stage of the dealmaking; when six or seven picture deals are on the line, there’s plenty to hash out with regards to the actor’s contract.
Jackson also confirms what Chris Evans told Steve earlier this year, that filming on Age of Ultron begins in March in London. As that date moves closer, expect to hear some more firm word from Marvel about the film’s cast. The Avengers: Age of Ultron will open in theaters on May 1, 2015.