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'Avengers: Age of Ultron': James Spader to Play the Baddie

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You know, we could get used to this whole "casual dropping of casting news in press releases thing" the blockbusters are trying out lately. Last week, we had the dramatic Batfleck announcement, and this morning, Marvel just happened to mention that James Spader would play the title baddie in the much-anticipated "Marvel's The Avengers" sequel, "Avengers: Age of Ultron." The Golden Globe-nominated actor will depict the super-badass archvillain who torments the superteam of superheroes. If the movie follows the same character beats as the original Marvel comics, Ultron is a really mean, really smart robot created by scientist Hank Pym (also known as Ant-Man in Marvel lore), who eventually upgrades himself until he's virtually indestructable. Somehow, we think the Avengers will find a way to take him down.

Also check out: Everything You Need to Know About Ultron

Anyone who's seen Spader's turn as boss on "The Office" certainly knows that dude can play smarmy, and is certainly easy to scowl at. But can the "Boston Legal" star slip into the Marvel universe as easily as he popped on period garb for Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln"? Only time will tell. "Avengers: Age of Ultron" is set to bow May 1, 2015. Joss Whedon, who directed the series' first installment and led the movie to a $1.5 billion worldwide gross last summer, returns as director. At San Diego Comic-Con last month, Whedon made a splash announcing the flick's title, and it was later revealed that he'd had a plan in place for an Ultron-centric plot before he had even officially signed on as the director for the first movie.

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