While there’s still no official confirmation on who Andy Serkis is playing onscreen in [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) (Ulysses Klaw, anyone?), the performance capture master clarified to Empire about the specific work his mo-cap studio The Imaginarium assisted with on the Marvel Studios blockbuster. Not surprisingly, it involves two of the sequel’s heaviest hitters.
“We did some work on Ultron,” Serkis reveals. “On the development of Ultron before James Spader came on board. In terms of movement styles: was he gonna be human-like? Was he going to be robot-like? So we worked with a bunch of different people, from body-popping experts to dancers, to this guy called Neil who’s nearly eight feet tall…”
Drawing on the way he honed the mo-cap performances of himself and others for blockbusters like [Dawn of the Planet of the Apes](movie:322904), Serkis coached Bruce Banner actor Mark Ruffalo on the finer points of Hulking out.
“We gave Mark weights, we had voice projections so he could do his Hulk roar,” he explains. “On screen we could have a virtual representation of the low-res avatar of The Hulk, so he could come out and feel that sense of scale.”
Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.
Written and directed by Joss Whedon, Avengers: Age of Ultron hits the big screen on May 1, 2015.