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Friday, August 30, 2013

EDITORIAL: Why Tony Stark Makes More Sense as Ultron's Pop

The Thor films have a strange problem, and that problem is Loki. The problem is that people love Loki and they love Loki so much that the character could arguably be more important than his brothers in the eyes of fans. The new Thor: The Dark World trailers are very Loki heavy, and they recently just announced that director Alan Taylor has just done reshoots with Tom Hiddleston to add even more Loki to the picture. That’s great for Hiddleston fans, but in the long run of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that could mean trouble. And that could be a big reason why Marvel’s stepping away from introducing Ultron in Ant-Man and putting him in The Avengers 2, months before Ant-Man debuts.

Ant-Man is a tough sell. It’s a new property with a silly title about a man with a silly “power.” Despite the talent that’s involved with Edgar Wright at the helm, I think you could make the case that Ant-Man has the biggest chance of being the biggest failure of Marvel’s officially slated upcoming pictures. It doesn’t have the already-inclusive fan-bases of Thor and Captain America, and it’s not as large or ambitious as James Gunn’s The Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s wedged in the middle; a smaller picture that’s going to be tough to make interesting with a character that’s hard to get excited about.

So, it makes sense that Ant-Man has to sell Hank Pym before ever it pulls out a strong villain, especially one as big as Ultron. To state it simply: Ultron is too big a character for Ant-Man’s debut. And you can’t have Ultron taking the spotlight away from a franchise-building character; that’s the problem happening with Thor. Loki’s getting bigger and bigger, but Marvel is trying to get away from that character (seeing as how they’ve gone on record saying he’ll be absent from The Avengers 2) in order to keep their franchise running and focused on the hero.

In retrospect, it makes sense that Stark is the cinematic creator of Ultron, because

·      The Iron Man films are centered around a theme of technological advancement
·      The JARVIS program is already well-digested by the general audience
·      It’s an easy pull to get Tony Stark back in the suit from the events of Iron Man 3

As (idiotically) enraged as fans might get now that Pym won’t be the papa of Ultron, it makes more sense in the established universe to get him under Stark’s thumb. And, honestly, for those who think The Avengers 2 will become "The Iron Man Show" for the fifth time, I kind of think that if it’s true that Stark creates Ultron, then it makes sense to me that Stark could also be Ultron’s first casualty, and what ultimately brings The Avengers back again. Is it possible Stark could be out of commission for a big chunk of The Avengers 2? With the addition of two (possibly more) team members, I don't think it's completely unlikely. And decommissioning Stark would definitely up the stakes of the picture and make it a more "personal" story, as Whedon has been noted on saying what his sequel's direction will be.

Might as well throw a little theory in there as well, don’t you think?

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