[WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Age of Ultron, and potential spoilers for [The Avengers: Infinity War](tag:738027). You have been warned.]
In May, the world witnessed Avengers: Age of Ultron, which followed the Avengers as they fought the new supervillain Ultron, who was a mysterious alien A.I. found in an Infinity Stone that Tony Stark breathed life into. At the end of the movie, we saw the last Ultron bot being 'killed' by Vision with the same Mind Gem that Ultron was birthed from.
About a month ago, news broke out that the villain Magus will be included in Avengers: Infinity War and is currently being cast. In the comics, Magus was the evil side of the character Adam Warlock, who also had an Infinity Stone on his forehead. Magus and Warlock started as the same character before Magus broke away into his own form. Interestingly, there have been no reports of an actor for Adam Warlock being searched for.
All of this, and a little bit of more information, leads me to one simple theory...
Ultron (or the spirit inside the Mind Gem that became known as Ultron) will return in Avengers: Infinity War in the form of Magus.
Now, before you call me crazy, let's observe a few key points:
1. We did not see what happened to Ultron when he was supposedly killed
In Ultron's final moments on screen, we witness him talking to his creation Vision. When Vision uses the gem on his forehead to kill Ultron, the shot switches so that you can't actually see what happens to Ultron because there's a tree in the way. There are two things that could have happened here:
1. Vision completely disintegrated Ultron, as most people assumed, or
2. Vision absorbed Ultron's spirit back into the Mind Gem on his forehead that Ultron had come from at the beginning of the movie, but destroyed Ultron's robot form.
Both are possible options, but it makes sense that the gem would absorb its own spirit back into itself.
2. Vision appears to be Adam Warlock's counterpart in the MCU
One of the best tricks in simplifying movies, books and other works of fiction is combining different characters. This consists of finding two characters that don't really interact and combining them into one character so as to not overcrowd the cast of characters. With more and more characters being added with their own unique characteristics, it would not surprise me if Marvel used this technique along the way.
Let's take a look at some of the defining characteristics of the cinematic version of Vision and the comic book version of Adam Warlock:
- They both can fly
- They both have cosmic abilities (Vision's comes from the stone)
- They both have a majestic yellow cape
- They both have an Infinity Stone plastered to their forehead
- They both fight for the good of the world without question
- They both are immensely powerful
- They both were created artificially (Vision by Ultron and Tony Stark, Warlock by the "Beehive")
See what I'm getting at yet? These two characters are already crazy similar to each other. Adding Adam Warlock would seem completely excessive since we already have a character that is practically his twin. It is very likely that Marvel decided to hit two birds with one stone with Vision by incorporating many characteristics of Adam Warlock into the floating android so that adding Warlock would not be necessary.
If they are the same character, we are likely to see the spirit inside of the gem on Vision's head (previously known as Ultron) manage to break away again, or perhaps control the Vision. Remember, Vision is alive through the gem. If that gem is corrupted for evil, who is to say that it won't corrupt Vision himself before eventually breaking off into what we can only assume to be the villain Magus?
3. The Mind Gem is known for being able to control people
The Infinity Stone on Vision's forehead is called the Mind Gem. It has the abilities to control people's minds and take over their consciousness, as seen in The Avengers when it was inside Loki's staff.
During the casting announcement for Magus, a bit of information was given about the comic book version of this character:
"...the Magus separates from his body and assembles the Infinity Gauntlet. Magus creates doppelgangers of Earth’s heroes as part of his plan to recreate a universe of evil."
Of course, that is only the comic book version. The movie version will most likely be a bit different. The above text does say that Magus creates evil doppelgangers of the Avengers in the comics, but will it be the same way in the movie? Or will we see Magus begin to control the minds of the Avengers to try turning everyone evil instead of recreating them? That seems a little more plausible for a movie, and it fits with the abilities of the Mind Gem that Magus is likely rooted from.
4. Director James Gunn confirmed that Adam Warlock's cocoon in Guardians of the Galaxy has no significance whatsoever
In an interview in the fall of 2014, James Gunn (director of Guardians of the Galaxy) was asked about the cocoon in the Collector's museum that was assumed to be Adam Warlock's. Gunn said that the cocoon had no significance at all. He just went through a list of items from the Marvel comics and randomly chose a few to put in. He said that he likes the character Warlock but that he would need to have the perfect spot in the MCU if he were to be added, a spot that is not yet available in the movies.
Furthermore, if Marvel was planning ahead (as they always do) to add Adam Warlock, they would not have let Gunn throw his cocoon in at random. They likely would have stopped him before entangling themselves in an origin story that was already partially told in the background of one of their movies. Based on this information, it is likely that Adam Warlock will not be appearing any time soon in the MCU.
5. No one permanently dies in Marvel if they can help it (except Uncle Ben)
Marvel is notorious for killing characters, then bringing them back shortly after. Very seldom do they keep a character dead, and it is often because they won't be able to get that actor or actress back for another film. That being said, I find it very unlikely that the character of Ultron would be thrown away so easily, especially considering we didn't even see him die.
I doubt Marvel would be able to get James Spader back, so the idea of 're-birthing' this character might be Marvel's answer. Though Ultron himself did die, the spirit inside Ultron (which has presumably been around since the beginning of the Universe) is likely to still be alive, ready to take another form.
Seeing that there is already a character exactly like Adam Warlock in the MCU and no casting calls for the character, it is safe to assume we will not see him. Instead, we will see his counterpart Vision serve that role and eventually be 'taken over' by Magus (previously known as Ultron), who is currently inside of the Infinity Stone on his forehead. Magus will then break away from the stone once more and control the minds of the Avengers, as hinted at in the casting call, using the abilities of the Mind Gem in which he came from.
Ultron is not dead. He is merely back to where he started at the beginning of Age of Ultron and will most likely return as Magus in Avengers: Infinity War.