It is hard to say how many people were trampled this week when, upon the release of the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, fans the world over heedlessly and manically rushed over to the closest computer screen. As one might expect, the trailer is now being dissected frame-by-frame: What was revealed? What surprises does that maestro of all maestros Joss Whedon have in store for us this time?
However, notwithstanding this barrage of questions, there was one image – indeed, one character – that seemed to cast a shadow over everything else. Yes, the first glimpse of the film’s arch-villain, Ultron, has had everyone’s head spinning.
Much to our satisfaction, James Spader, the man behind the computer-generated-mask, recently offered his insights into the motion capture process to Total Film, detailing the work that was done to create the character’s unique onscreen presence. His description of the physical evolution of Ultron’s character is of particular interest. Spader said the following:
“When you first meet Ultron, his physicality is very different to what he evolves to. It was in the script but we arrived at the metamorphosis of him on the set. In practice, in rehearsals.
We were able to create the physicality of the character on the motion-capture stage. They would dot me up and I was wearing a helmet that had two cameras on my face, and they could live stream it to a monitor so we could try different things.
Then I’d go and shoot the scene with the other actors and they’re recording all of it, including my voice. 9 times out of 10 they were not using ADR (additional dialogue recording) after the fact.”
We will have to wait and see the film in order to understand exactly what Spader means by Ultron’s “metamorphosis.” The Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1, 2015.