At the tail end of Saturday's big Marvel panel at San Diego Comic-Con, a special guest was revealed: none other than Joss Whedon, the writer/director of "The Avengers," co-writer and director of the forthcoming series "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," and current grand overseer of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And what's more, Whedon brought a brief teaser for the upcoming "Avengers" sequel, which revealed its full title and villain.
Prepare for "The Avengers: Age of Ultron."
The footage showed clips from the first "Avengers" movie, complete with dialogue, over a curved, metallic surface most in the audience assumed would be Iron Man's helmet or Captain America's shield. But then the camera pulled back to reveal that it was neither -- in fact, it was the smooth, insect-y face of Ultron, a villainous robot set to do battle with the Earth's mightiest team: Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and whoever else Marvel and Whedon decide to cram into the sequel (rumors persist that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will join the crew).
While a recent Marvel comic book series was entitled "Age of Ultron," Whedon says that the movie won't be based on one particular strain of the comic book and that they will devise their own story for the adamantium-encased bad guy -- originally built by Ant-Man himself, Hank Pym -- who dreams of taking over the world.
In the comics, Ultron is also responsible for creating The Vision, an evil android who eventually becomes an Avenger. Some speculate this is the part Vin Diesel was rumored to be speaking with Marvel about a few weeks ago.
Even though Marvel villain Thanos was teased at the end of "The Avengers," Ultron is one of the Avengers' greatest foes and makes perfect sense as a villain for the second film. We imagine Thanos will still be in the mix somewhere, perhaps making his dastardly entrance in the third "Avengers."
Earlier in the Marvel presentation, Tom Hiddleston strutted out on stage in his full Loki regalia to screen footage from the upcoming "Thor: The Dark World." A number of Comic-Con attendees were heard letting out audible sighs, disappointed that Hiddleston didn't grace the stage as his character from "War Horse" instead. (Kidding.)
Other Marvel panel goodies included the introduction of the entire oddball cast of "Guardians of the Galaxy," as well as a "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" presentation.
"The Avengers: Age of Ultron" is set for a summer 2015 release.