James Spader cast as ‘Ultron’ in ‘Avengers’ sequel, Loki tweets his approval

If any of you comes at me with a “WHO?” I will send you to the corner for the day to think about your life choices. Yesterday, Marvel announced the casting of their new villain for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. It’s not Loki. It was never going to be Loki. Ultron is the new villain in the sequel, and Ultron will be played by… forever creeper and sleaze-typecast James Spader. This has warmed my Pretty In Pink-loving heart. Remember James Spader in Pretty In Pink? ANYONE? James Spader was pretty much THE BEST ‘80s villain of all. And then he morphed into something of a leading man briefly, but his inner creeper won out and for the past decade and a half, he’s worked steadily in varying roles in film and television, almost always playing “the bad guy” or “the freak” or “that guy who makes my skin crawl”. YES!

James Spader will face off against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as the villain in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the sequel to 2012’s record-breaking “Marvel’s The Avengers.” The Emmy Award-winning actor will play Ultron in the Avengers’ much anticipated return to the big screen from writer/director Joss Whedon. The film comes to theaters on May 1, 2015.

Spader earned three Emmy Awards for his role as Alan Shore on “Boston Legal” and “The Practice,” and will return to television this fall in NBC’s highly anticipated series “The Blacklist.” Most recently Spader was seen in the critically-acclaimed film “Lincoln” directed by Steven Spielberg and has previously worked with a long list of accomplished film directors including David Cronenberg, Curtis Hansen, Sidney Lumet, Mike Nichols, Tim Robbins, Robert Rodriguez, Steven Soderbergh, and Oliver Stone. David Mamet also directed Spader in the Broadway play Race.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” will bring the Marvel Universe’s biggest heroes together again to face one of their biggest villains, with “Marvel’s The Avengers” director Joss Whedon returning to write and direct the sequel. “Marvel’s The Avengers” was released in 2012 and went on to earn $1.5 billion worldwide, making it the third-largest grossing movie of all time.

[From Marvel]

I think this is an okay choice. I applaud Marvel for eschewing a bigger name and going with a solid character actor with a history of scene-stealing performances. It feels like casting Jeff Bridges to be the bad guy against Robert Downey Jr. – it feels like Marvel wanted an actor they knew could deliver a great bad-guy performance. But it does feel like they have gone further outside of the box. I mean, getting James Spader to play a villain is nothing new. Getting a handsome, classically-trained English leading-man type like Tom Hiddleston to play a comic-book villain was out of the box thinking. Spader is not.

As for Loki, I mean, Tom Hiddleston… he tweeted his approval in between weighing in on the Parliamentary vote on military action in Syria. Tommy tweeted: “Go on, James Spader. Go get ‘em. @Avengers #AgeOfUltron”. You know what? He gets a gold star for that one. That was pithy, classy and funny.

PS… Yes, Spader always dresses like an old-timey villain too.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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79 Responses to “James Spader cast as ‘Ultron’ in ‘Avengers’ sequel, Loki tweets his approval”

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  1. EscapedConvent says:

    I *love* James Spader. He is wonderfully creepy & will be a great villain. Also, I had a crush on him for a few days after I saw Sex, Lies & Videotape.

    & I can’t figure out what he’s wearing in that second pic. I guess villains wear big stripey scarves sometimes.

  2. Eve says:


    I. LOVE. HIM!

    Thank you for this news…August has been a really, really shitty month, but this brought a smile to my face.

  3. T.fanty says:

    I’m not a Marvel geek (defers to the geek above), but Spader and Whedon seem like a great combo to me.

  4. blue marie says:

    yay!! creepy yet awesome.. and don’t forget about The Secretary..

  5. Sixer says:

    I think it’s a good choice. I like James Spader. He’s tongue-in-cheek and camp and creepy. Always a good combo.

    But I don’t see that it’s any less out of the box than casting a Brit with a plum in his gob (that’s British-speak for posh voice) as a villain. That’s a stock, surely?

  6. Dorothy#1 says:

    Pretty is Pink is my favorite 80′s movie!! Steff rules!!! I love this casting choice!

  7. Sophie says:

    If anybody needs me, I’ll be in my bunk, watching Secretary.

  8. tifzlan says:

    I have always been in love with James Spader

  9. m says:

    I love boston legal because of him!!

  10. chloe says:

    Love him, great casting and now I got to dig out my Pretty in Pink cassette soundtrack to reminisce my high school years, anyone got a boom box I can borrow?

    • Esmom says:

      No but I do actually have an old yellow Walkman. :)

      My kids have been making their way through all the 80s movies (Ferris Bueller is far and away their favorite so far, with Blues Brothers a close second) and we just watched Pretty in Pink last weekend.

      They proclaimed it boring and have been giving me grief all week. The only character they liked is Annie Potts.’ Spader was definitely compelling but I’d forgotten how heavy handed some of the cliches were.

    • mia girl says:

      @Esmom – Have they watched Breakfast Club yet? My daughter loved it

      She also found Pretty in Pink kinda boring but on topic, watched it mostly for Spader. She’s a big fan of The Office and could not believe that Robert California was once a. Skinny b. attractive.

      She preferred Some Kind of Wonderful to Pretty in Pink.

      • Esmom says:

        @mia girl, great call on Breakfast Club. I’ll give it a week or two because I know they’re not ready to see Molly Ringwald again. My younger son found her especially annoying for some reason.

        Yeah, Spader was so skinny back then, and hot under the silly Miami Vice suit that NO high schooler wore. Ever.

      • mia girl says:

        Well Esmom, I hail from Miami and back in the “Vice” days some guys actually wore that look to high school here. So terrible. But these guys had pimples on their face and none of Spaders’ swagger.

        What about Lucas as another 80s movie? Your boys might like that and bonus, they get to see Charlie Sheen look like a nice respectable human.

      • Esmom says:

        @mia girl, I stand corrected on the suit, lol. I will say no high school boys in Chicago wore those suits in the 80s. Maybe to a dance but definitely not on a regular school day.

        Another good call on Lucas, thanks. My sons get a kick out of Charlie Sheen’s little part at the end of Ferris Bueller when he picks up Jeannie at the police station…hilarious.

  11. Mia 4S says:

    Interesting choice. Given the what I’ve read about Ultron this would be more of a voice role wouldn’t it? It just doesn’t seem like we would see “him” for any reason? Who knows, maybe they are making some big changes.

  12. squirrelbait says:

    the mister is always on my case for not sharing his love for the avengers. now i’m totally on board. ♡spader♡

  13. bettyrose says:

    He’s played plenty of sexy sinister roles since PiP. Crash, anyone? *shivers* James Spader 4ever!

  14. dcypher1 says:

    He will always be Daniel Jackson forever in my heart. I love stargate its one of my favorite movies and pretty in pink of course. He was super hot back in the day now he’s a bit aged.

  15. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    White Palace was a great movie.

  16. Ari says:

    Totally love Spader and itll be fun to see him with RDJ again haha

  17. Migdalia says:

    Why has no one mentioned Less than Zero?! I’m only 25 so I first saw Spader on…actually I think Pretty in Pink and then The Practice and grew a big crush on him. I have a think for aholes like most girls lol.

    Then I saw Less than Zero recently O_o…that movie broke my heart and I can’t look at James Spader the same hahaha what an enabling creep he was…well his character.

  18. vennie says:

    I love this casting. Bad news though Ultron is a robot. So it might just be his voice.

    • V4Real says:

      I was thinking the same thing about it just being his voice. Then again they can play it the way they did with Mark Ruffalo.

      Mark Ruffalo played both the human character and the monster by relying on a motion-capture suit and motion-capture HD cameras.

  19. layla says:

    When did James Spader become John Lithgow?!

    Btw.. LOVE the choice. RDJ and Spader – Less Than Zero, anyone???

  20. Esmerelda says:

    That is James Spader? Where did the 90s go? They were here a moment ago… I feel old. Gen X idols should not be allowed to grow old, we should have a law or smt, really.
    That said, I’ll probably see A2 now. Good move, Marvel.

  21. Virgilia Coriolanus says:

    Can anyone say “Secretary”?

    That was my first r rated (for sexual content) movie…dear Lord. I don’t think anyone else could’ve pulled off that role, without looking like a huge asshole—re: “Your clothes are disgusting. Wear a hairnet” or when he made Lee dig through the trash for case notes, that he then found a copy of.

    Even now, I think he’s a good looking man.

  22. Renee says:

    James Spader, yes please. Well done.

  23. Ennie says:

    Love him since Sex, Lies and Videotape. I saw that before I ever saw White Castle or Pretty in Pink. Great actor. On top of that He has/had a beautiful face and awesome hair!
    It will be very nice to see him again!

  24. Jenn says:

    The middle picture is like a creepy hipster Tom Baker Doctor Who.

  25. Maria_Spain says:

    I came to say THANK YOU PPL!!!! i Havent wathed Secretary before but you talk so much about it that i downloaded yesterday… i have to say that im still …you know what i mean :p , Jesus!!! I had forgotten how much i want…mean love him since those days, so thank you very very much (y) .
    I don´t know if there is a question : do u hit him? but my answear would be OH YEASSS!

  26. Spaz says:

    I LOVE JAMES SPADER! He’s a forever dong.