Actor Paul Bettany has joined the cast of Avengers: Age of Ultron as the artificial being that becomes the robotic superhero Vision, according to Variety. Bettany has previously appeared in all three Iron Man films as well as the first Avengers as the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S., Tony Stark’s artificial intelligence butler/assistant.
The casting helps to answer a few questions comic book fans have had about the film, and raises a few new ones. In the comics, Vision was created by Ultron, who we know will be the primary antagonist in the upcoming Avengers sequel, and who will be portrayed by a CGI encrusted James Spader. The comics version of Ultron creates the synthezoid Vision using the body of the original Human Torch, an android that fought in World War II. Easter egg hunters may remember that the Human Torch was actually teased in Captain America: The First Avenger, and could be seen in a glass display case during pre-super soldier serum Steve Rodgers visit to the Stark Expo. That may not factor into the film, but the groundwork has been laid if the filmmakers choose to stick close to the comics.
Ultron created the Vision to help lure the Avengers into a trap, but the team soon convinced the android to think for himself. He does so and soon becomes a full member of the Avengers – eventually falling in love and marrying the Scarlet Witch, who will be played by Elizabeth Olsen in the film.
Avengers: Age of Ultron may follow this general storyline or go in a different direction completely. The casting of Bettany suggests that Vision will be an evolution of Stark’s AI though. In the comics, Jarvis is Stark’s flesh and blood butler, while in the movies the name is an anagram for “Just a Rather Very Intelligent System.” During the first reveal for the film at Comic Con 2013, a lot of fans caught on to the fact that the teaser showed what appeared to be Ultron’s head being molded out of an Iron Man head piece. Since Hank Pym – the creator of Ultron in the comics – won’t be introduced until Ant-Man, which hits theaters after Avengers: Age of Ultron, it appears that Stark may somehow be instrumental in creating both Ultron and Vision.
If Vision follows his comic origins and begins life as a villain in the film, he would join Ultron and Baron von Strucker, who will be played by Thomas Kretchsmann, and they may have company. It’s not entirely clear how the characters of Quicksilver (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch will be portrayed, since both – like Vision – started as villains before joining the Avengers.