Avengers 2 Age of Ultron has never been closer than it is now, and we are learning more and more about the movie as it approaches.
The most significant development in recent weeks was the release of the trailers for Avengers 2, which, naturally, tell us a lot about the movie.
But also, for those that have been paying attention, the trailers shed light on some of the clues we have had previously from Joss Whedon about the next Avengers movie.
Most significantly, this remark, which Whedon gave when he was asked what fans should expect from Avengers 2 Age of Ultron:
Death, Death and Death
What could Whedon mean? Before we answer that question, let's give you a chance to see the Avengers trailer again in all its glory:
Pretty intense! So, what could Joss Whedon mean? Let's start with something hinted at in the above trailer:
Death No 1: Ultron Massacres All Of Slorenia
Ultron appears in a number of Avengers comics, but the one that seem to most closely resemble the storyline that Joss Whedon has chosen for Avengers 2 is Ultron Unlimited - and this story line certainly contains a lot of death!
There is one scene which stands out, in particular.
What you need to remember about Ultron is that he is programmed to seek out and put an end to future threats to humanity. The paradox which turns him evil, however, is that humans start wars, humans spread disease, pollute the Earth and destroy natural habitats.
Simply out, humanity is its own greatest threat - and it is this realisation which causes Ultron to seek to put an end to humanity altogether, beginning with the citizens of Slorenia.
That's right, Ultron murders every man, woman and child in the fictional Balkan state of Slorenia in under *three hours*! Could this be what Joss Whedon was referring to in his remarks, or would the annihilation of an entire nation be too much for Marvel to bring to the big screen?
Well, going by these images in the trailer, it doesn't look good for Slorenia!
Scarlet Witch stands in a wiped-out landscape, with Cyrillic lettering marking the bombed out shops. And that sign behind her reads "Bar Centrala" - meaning that this is most likely the centre of town! What must the rest of the country look like?
Death No. 2: The Death of an Avenger?
It has long been speculated that [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) will see the end of one of our favorite heroes. However, with Marvel recently announcing their roster of future films, it seems certain that some of Avengers are safer than others.
Iron Man and Captain America are set to appear in [Captain America: Civil War](movie:994409), and Thor will have a lot to deal with in [Thor: Ragnarok](movie:956858). So that leaves Hulk, Black Widow & Hawkeye as the main candidates to meet their end. Of those, most fans seem to believe it will be Hawkeye.
However, going by the trailer, there is a good case to be made for Hulk.
Much of the trailer contains images of Bruce Banner looking sick, trembling and feverish. Undoubtedly, he is recovering from losing control of "the other guy" again, but given that he is the most high profile character *not* to have a future movie announced - could we see Hulk meet his end in Avengers 2? What do you think?
Death No 3: Death, Mistress of Thanos!?
The final death that Joss Whedon could have been alluding to in his "death, death and death" remark might be something completely different than simply referring to the death of a character.
Ever since the post-credits scene of the first Avengers movie, fans have known that Thanos is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thanos, the Mad Titan, is motivated to embark on his quest of death and destruction due to his passionate love for another character - and that character is Death!
That's right, it is Thanos' love for Death, the female incarnation of the end of life that motivates him in his quest against the universe. We all know that Avengers 2 is going to bring us closer to Thanos and the [The Avengers: Infinity War](movie:738027), will it also be our first glimpse of Death?
So what do you think? The death of a nation, the death of an Avengers, and the introduction of Death - could this be what Joss Whedon was hinting at? Write in with all your own thoughts and speculation below the line!