The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer was supposed to debut during next week's episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but on Wednesday afternoon, a dark and shadowy force had a different, more accelerated agenda.
Yep, the trailer leaked — now who would do a thing like that? — and Disney/Marvel's response was to release it almost immediately thereafter. Whether this was a highly orchestrated PR move or a swiftly and well-played response to leaky trolls no longer matters, because either way, that first trailer is here, and it brings a host of new details about the Avengers sequel.
Though this is the first trailer, we've seen and read an awful lot about Joss Whedon's follow-up to the first and only movie to ever open over $200 million at the U.S. box office. But it was still laced with a host of revelations.
And here they are:
This is gonna be a bummer
Those who've read the Spring 2013 comic-book event upon which this movie is based already know that this is about as low as the Avengers go. They're easily defeated and driven underground. They're desperate, and to make matters as bad as they get, they're in some ways responsible for unspeakable destruction upon the Earth. This little group of survivors in what looks like a hidden Quinjet is our first — and probably tamest — glimpse at how dispirited the team is gonna get.
Ultron: Not made with a 3-D printer
We know Ultron is a Stark creation gone wrong. But this early glimpse at a molten hand gives the impression that the genocidal robot wasn't made and replicated in one of Stark's little rendering labs. He's got some next-level forgery going on here.
Time-travel — a thing?
Captain America walks into a bar. His uniform looks pretty 2014, but that couple he's standing next to is as '40s as they get — and so are those federal-looking troops. Is Cap having a flashback? Possible. Also possible: That the time-travel elements in the "Ultron" comics, which kick off a chain of events that are still reverberating in the comic-book universe, are being introduced in Ultron.
Who you gonna call? Hulkbuster!
OK, so this isn't such a big reveal. We saw Tony Stark's Hulkbuster armor in countless teases, including the one at Comic-Con. But dang, Hulkbuster. Now we know you can really tangle with The Hulk — and the results look Man of Steel-level destructive.
The Serkis has come to town
It was one of those quiet news days when we first learned that Andy Serkis would have some kind of role in Ultron, and not just as a mocap wiz. Here's our first look. Wishful thinkers would be forgiven for seeing some version of Wolverine here — that's not possible, of course, because Fox owns the X-Men — but whoever he is, he is. And that's precious.
Tony's automated suits were Avengers' property
The scoopy blogs have already revealed that Stark unwittingly created Ultron by way of his automated security force, but take note of the emblem on the chest of this 'bot: It's clearly Avengers-branded. The implication here is that the Avengers share at least some of the blame for what became of them; at least in a public-perception sort of way.
That 'Iron Man 3' kid may be back already
Tony Stark's lament for his role in all of this is subtly split among two backgrounds, the second of which looks an awful lot like a garden-variety garage. Could he be back to visit the kid to whom he bequeathed a full-blown development lab in Iron Man 3? Of course he could.
Newcomers Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) come to Ultron's lair in the trailer, which seems crazy until you go to the comics: In the print version of "Ultron," She-Hulk and Luke Cage (characters who've not been introduced in the cinematic universe) were the Avengers' emissaries to Ultron in a last-ditch effort to disrupt his campaign of desolation. From the looks on their faces, it sure seems like they're stand-ins for that mission.
The Comic-Con crowd got a good look at Ultron's animated face, a departure from the comic-book version, which was always a fixed, insectoid helmet that reflected the designs of original creator Hank Pym. This Ultron's got no such strings.
So much for Captain America's unbreakable shield
And notice that the lifeless arm near the splintered vibranium shield belongs to ... Thor.
SPOILER ALERT: Back at Comic-Con, during which Marvel showed an extensive sizzle-reel, the final shot showed a whole lot of lifeless Avengers — which hews to the comic-book series, in which most of the team is wiped out.
Told you this was getting dark...
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