Speaking to Empire, Whedon revealed that he’d faced some criticism for the decision, but the reasons behind it were very sensible indeed.
“Of all the heat I’ve ever taken, not having Hank Pym was one of the bigger things,” he said. “But the fact of the matter was, Edgar had him first and by virtue of what Edgar was doing, there was no way for me to use him in this. I also thought it was a bridge too far. Ultron needs to be the brainchild of the Avengers, and in the world of the Avengers and the MCU, Tony Stark is that guy. Banner has elements of that guy – we don’t really think of him as being as irresponsible as Tony Stark, but the motherfucker tested gamma radiation on himself, with really terrible, way-worse-than-Tony-Stark results.”
“It didn’t make sense to introduce a third scientist, a third sciencetician, to do that. It was hard for me, because I grew up on the comics, to dump that, but at the end of the day, it’s a more interesting relationship between Tony and Ultron if Tony was once like, ‘You know what would be a really great idea?’ They’re doing what they always do – which is jump in headfirst, and then go, ‘Sorry, world!’ But you have to make it their responsibility without just making it their fault.”
He also revealed that Ultron’s powers have been toned down from their comic book stature. “…we have to make him slightly less omnipotent because he’d win. Bottom line. Also, having weaknesses and needs and foibles and alliances and actually caring what people think of him, all these things, are what make him a character and not just a tidal wave. A movie about a tidal wave can be great, but it’s different than a conflict between one side and the other.”
There’s also a little bit about Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, who he says we’ll see arrive with their powers already established. “They have an origin but it’s largely described. They’re already good to go by the time we’re up and running….But I insisted on putting in more in this movie because I felt I needed more villains. I needed someone for Ultron to talk to, and I need more trouble for the Avengers. As powerful as Ultron is, if he builds more Ultrons, they’re Ultrons. There’s no reason for him to ever to talk to them because they’re him.”
Avengers: Age Of Ultron will be in cinemas on 23 April in the UK and 1 May in the US. You can buy Avengers Assemble on Blu-ray for £15.51 from Amazon.co.uk. Get all the latest Marvel news with every new issue of SciFiNow.