Seemingly following in Star Wars’ footsteps and adopting a production philosophy of “no one’s ever really gone“, a new rumor suggests that despite his apparent death at the hands of his progeny, Ultron yet lives in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
As fans of the MCU may recall, the killer A.I. was done unbelievably dirty in his brief headlining appearance in his titular film, Age of Ultron.
Despite being one of if not the most iconic Avengers comic book threats of all-time, director Joss Whedon chose to waste both his character and the talent of his actor, Stargate star James Spader, by having Vision (Paul Bettany) close out the film by wiping Ultron from the face of the planet.
Or at least, that’s what audiences were ostensibly led to believe. According to Cosmic Circus’ Alex Perez, one of his insider sources has informed him that Tony Stark’s greatest mistake “was not destroyed in the wake of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and remnants of the Ultron A.I. are still active but ‘dormant.'”
Though Perez’s source could not confirm whether or not Marvel Studios currently had any plans for Ultron’s potential revival, the scooper suggests that the two most likely projects in which he could reappear are the upcoming Armor Wars film and the yet-to-be-officially-greenlit Vision Quest television series.
As noted by now infamous Marvel Studios producer Nate Moore during a recent interview with Collider, Armor Wars is currently set to see Don Cheadle’s Colonel James Rhodey deal with “all these armors and sort of the legacy of Tony Stark”.
With a focus on Tony’s legacy, it’s not too far fetched to speculate that the time he was almost responsible for a mass extinction event would play a major part in the series’ narrative. Plus, the film’s focus on Tony’s leftover tech easily lends itself to allowing for Ultron to repurpose one of his father’s old armors as his new shell.
On the other hand, per Deadline, Vision Quest is being developed around the central plot of the title Avenger “trying to regain his memory and humanity”.
That story line in mind, should Marvel surprise fans and once again begin caring about the MCU’s actual continuity, Vision would need to confront and subsequently deal with the sins of his father.
Further considering how Vision’s mind was developed from the remnants of Ultron’s partially uploaded consciousness, it’s within the realm of possibility that whatever remains of the villain is enough to allow him to bring himself to fruition once again.
And with Queen Ramoda telling Shuri in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever that she fully believes “one day artificial intelligence is going to kill us all”, it’s possible the studio may already be opening the door to such a development.