Andy Serkis is a master of motion capture acting. His iconic roles range from Gollum in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies to playing King Kong in Peter Jackson's remake of the classic film. Next week, audiences will be treated to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes with Serkis in the lead role as Caesar. It seems like audiences are more familiar with Andy Serkis motion capture characters than the actual actor himself. In 2015, Serkis will appear in Star Wars: Episode VII in an unknown role, as he also might be featured in another giant movie released earlier in the year.
According to Variety, Andy Serkis is working on The Avengers: Age of Ultron as a consultant to help actor Mark Ruffalo "take ownership" of his character The Hulk. I'd also like to point out that Serkis was also a consultant on the recent Godzilla blockbuster to help with the King of Monster's movements. Serkis teased a possible role in The Avengers 2 when the entertainment outlet asked:
"Will we actually see your face?
I’m not at liberty to mention. But it’s all the same to me. I’ve never drawn a distinction when playing a role, whether it be live action or performance capture. Acting is acting. It’s just basically what you wear to the set that’s different."
Of course, this led me to wonder who will Andy Serkis play in Age of Ultron, if he is, in fact, in the sequel film.
Much like Bradly Cooper's Rocket Raccoon and Vin Diesel's Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, James Spader will voice the titular villain in The Avengers sequel, but it's highly doubtful that he'll also create the robot's motion capture performance. While Serkis is working with Ruffalo to bring The Hulk to life on the big screen (again), why not have Serkis play the film's villain while he's wearing the mo-cap suit?
It's a very similar situation to Ultron. Josh Brolin was cast to voice the Mad Titan Thanos, but it's unlikely that he'll also do the performance capture for the villain. It's also unclear how much Thanos would play into the movie. Considering that the name of the movie is Age of Ultron and NOT Age of Thanos, it looks like the villain's screen time might be limited. It seems like a good small role for Serkis to take up.
Furthermore, we know we're getting a Thanos cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy via a hologram. Maybe we'll actually get a physical Thanos in Age of Ultron. So it's likely that we might get a fully functioning Thanos in The Avengers 3.
Andy Serkis said he's "been working closely with Mark Ruffalo" on The Avengers: Age of Ultron, so maybe he's doing the motion capture work for Tony Stark's "Hulkbuster Armor." During Marvel's TV special on ABC a few months ago, the comic book movie studio released new concept art for the sequel film. They showcased concept art for Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elisabeth Olsen, respectively. Marvel also released concept art of The Hulk with Black Widow and the Big Guy fighting Stark's Hulkbuster armor. Perhaps Sekris will fight Ruffalo sometime during shooting.
For four movies, Paul Bettany voiced the role of J.A.R.V.I.S., Tony Stark's artificial intelligence computer. In Age of Ultron, Bettany was cast to play the Ultron-created robot Vision, but it's still unclear if Bettany is only voicing the character or doing the motion capture, as well as lending his voice. It seems that Vision's role is somewhat limited in the movie, so it would be another short and sweet way for Andy Serkis to come in and bring the character to life.
Moreover, Vision is also a clue that Ultron might be the corrupted J.A.R.V.I.S., considering Bettnay's role and the lack of Hank Pym, Ultron's creator in the comic books.
This one is far fetched, but hear me out. Marvel Studios is known for namedropping new characters in movies to expand their cinematic universe. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Agent Sitwell namedropped Stephen Strange, as a wink and a nod to the upcoming movie Doctor Strange. Andy Serkis might appear in a cameo role as Black Bolt, the ruler of the Inhumans.
We know Marvel producer Kevin Feige is keen on making a new movie featuring the Royal Family, so why not throw in a small teaser to set up a bigger story for Phase Three or Four. We also know that the Infinity Gauntlet plays a role in Marvel's bigger picture (Black Bolt has the Reality Gem). If the comic book movie studio is planning a Planet Hulk movie, then the Marvel Illuminati (Black Bolt is a member, along with Iron Man and Doctor Strange) have to play into the MCU, as well.