A super powerful, self-aware robot does not exactly sound like the easiest character for audiences to relate to. It’s the classic problem that many fans, including this writer, have with Superman: how is a being that is capable of anything and is virtually indestructible interesting and fun to watch?
“Avengers 2” writer Joss Whedon has recently revealed that he is keenly aware of this problem, and he will reportedly be taking measures to make sure that Ultron will be a little more entertaining when he makes his big screen debut.
For those unfamiliar with the comic version of Ultron, he has a list of superpowers that is more than a little ridiculous, even by comic standards. Along with the standard super strength and flight, he also possesses the abilities of mind-control, super speed, super stamina, a coma ray (you read that correctly), not to mention his super intellect that allows him to rise to basically any challenge. Such a being outmatches most individual superheroes, and might even compare favorably with the Avengers when fully assembled.
Whedon, in order to give the group a fighting chance, has said that he will remove a few of the abilities and make the bot seem a bit more human. Whedon had the following to say about his changes:
“I knew right away what I wanted to do with him. He’s always trying to destroy the Avengers, goddamn it, he’s got a bee in his bonnet. He’s not a happy guy, which means he’s an interesting guy. He’s got pain. And the way that manifests is not going to be standard robot stuff. So we’ll take away some of those powers because at some point everybody becomes magic, and I already have someone [a new character, Scarlet Witch] who’s a witch.”
Hopefully the changes will allow the next Avengers film to provide action and excitement while avoiding the trap of having a character that is simply too powerful.
For you Whedon fans out there you can find him on the cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly.