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Movies, TV and Comic Books

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    Production has been underway on Marvel's eagerly-anticipated sequel The Avengers: Age of Ultron in Johannesburg this past week for a scene involving The Incredible Hulk seemingly on a rampage in the South African capital. We've already seen some set photos and video [see here], but with the final day of shooting upon us we've now got a few more... there's nothing really exciting or revealing going on, aside from the police firing off a few rounds, presumably at the Green Goliath; take a look below courtesy of CBM...

    The Avengers: Age of Ultron is set for release on May 1st 2015 with Whedon directing a cast that includes MCU veterans Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (The Incredible Hulk), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Don Cheadle (War Machine), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) and Paul Bettany (JARVIS / The Vision) alongside new additions Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass 2) as Quicksilver, Elizabeth Olsen (Oldboy) as the Scarlet Witch, James Spader (The Blacklist) as Ultron and Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula) as Baron Strucker.

    Instagram Video By Paperless3 from RSM on Vimeo.

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    We are very sad to report the passing of actor, writer and director Harold Ramis, who has passed away at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family when he died at 12:53 a.m. from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels, his wife Erica Mann has said.

    Ramis has been battling his health issues which began in May 2010 with an infection that led to complications related to the autoimmune disease. In late 2011, he suffered a relapse of the vasculitis after having to re-learn how to walk.

    With writing credits on comedy classics such as National Lampoon's Animal House and Stripes, Ramis was a beloved part of the comedy circuit during the late 70s, 80s and 90s. He was a head writer on Second City Television in Chicago and had directing credits on National Lampoon's Vacation, Groundhog Day and Analyze This. In his later years, he directed episodes of The US Office and Year One starring Jack Black.

    He was however perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Egon Spengler in Ivan Reitman's Ghostbusters. A movie that captured the imagination of a generation which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

    He was regarded an inspiration to many young filmmakers and comedians including Judd Apatow, Jay Roach, The Farrelly Brothers, and Adam Sandler.

    With Ghostbusters being one of the Flickering Myth writing team's top 10 movies of all time, we are very sad to hear of this news. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

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    We've seen trailers, toys, and various other attractions all teasing us with regards to the appearance of Godzilla. Now, with the film's release ever nearer, Empire Magazine have a rather fetching cover image to show off...

    Though it isn't a full colour image it is striking, with both the size of Godzilla and lack of 'it looks like a guy in a suit' coming across well. The King of Monsters looks like he's ready to take his throne!

    Described as an epic rebirth to Toho’s iconic Godzilla, the adventure pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence. The key cast for Godzilla includes Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Sally Hawkins and Bryan Cranston. Gareth Edwards (Monsters) is directing the creature feature centered on the giant city-destroying and monster-fighting lizard.

    Godzilla hits screens on May 16th, but you can pick up the new issue of Empire this Thursday.

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    Jackson Ball reviews the tenth episode of House of Cards season 2...

    House of Cards Season 2 poster
    They’ve done it again! Those crafty House of Cards writers have blindsided us again with another unexpected plot device. Just as Episode 10 was looking to be a little on the dreary side, they pull out sharp, dialogue-free twist in its final scenes.

    Spoilers Ahead – You have been warned!

    Episode 10 chugs along at the usual slow pace, weighing itself down with as much political jargon as you could possibly care to want. Frank (Kevin Spacey) and Claire (Robin Wright) accumulate an abnormally low amount of screen-time between them, at least in the episode’s first ‘act’. Instead, the emphasis is once again pushed on the relationships of the supporting cast, and how they are all inevitably doomed.

    First there’s the sex-for-secrets relationship between House Whip Jackie (Molly Parker) and professional scandal-starter Remy (Mahershala Ali). I don’t think anyone envisioned this one having a happy ending, and while we’ve been left questioning Remy’s motives, it seems as though their fornicating days are numbered.

    Then there’s the hot/cold/ever-so-creepy relationship between Doug (Michael Kelly) and young Rachel (Rachel Brosnahan). What began as a good-intentioned attempt to keep her safe (entwined with the not so good-intentioned attempt to protect Frank) has gradually turned into something that resembles a borderline-obsession. There’s always been something a little bit askew with Doug’s feelings towards Rachel - the bedtime stories alone were genuinely disturbing – but it looks as though she has finally had enough of his bossiness. It will be interesting to see who snaps first in upcoming episodes.

    As we prepared to sign off on another relatively uneventful episode, Frank and Claire burst back into the picture with one of their most memorable scenes to date. It begins at an unnerving tempo, as Claire offers off-the-clock bodyguard Meechum (Nathan Darrow) a glass of wine. Time lapses onward and the pair are clearly getting a little tipsy, setting the scene for what we assume is Claire’s latest affair. That is until Frank joins them. There’s a beat; a silence. Then Claire makes her move, taking Meechum’s hand and kissing it, followed by his lips. Meechum then turns to Frank and they too share passionate kiss before the scene fades to black.

    It may not be as dramatic a shock as the first episode, but it has the same mind-boggling effect. It is undeniably out of the blue, and will no doubt lead to you exclaiming profanities of confusion at the screen, but the real joy of this twist comes when you have had time for it to sink in.

    Of course they’re having a threesome with Meechum!

    We know Claire has been feeling lonely of late, what with the Adam scandal and the threats on her life, and we know that the Underwoods have never been entirely straight-laced in their attitude towards sex (Open about affairs, open about porn). Once again the writers have struck us with something we never would have predicted, but something that we’ll kick ourselves for not predicting! I mean, it’s just genius isn’t it?

    Jackson Ball - follow me on Twitter

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    Having become the highest grossing domestic (U.S.) release of 2013, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has now catapulted to number ten on the all-time North American box office list.

    The second instalment in the now incredibly successful franchise has made an impressive $423,628,000 in the States since its release last November, and currently sits just shy of $865 million globally. Catching Fire has also surpassed its predecessor, The Hunger Games, which sits in 15th position domestically with $408 million and earned a total of $691 million around the world.

    The penultimate film, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 opens in November, and will presumably challenge for a place in the top ten itself.

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    With the Sorcerer Supreme seemingly set for Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, rumours continue to circulate as to who will be playing Doctor Strange, with Full Metal Jacket actor Matthew Modine touting himself as a possible candidate.

    On his Twitter page, Modine attached a photo of Strange with a caption, “#Marvel I’d like to play #Doctor Strange - let’s make this happen.” Evidently, he fails to understand the power of subtlety but he would bring an interesting sense of wisdom and experience to a character unfamiliar to many.

    Of course, while on the press junket for The Dark Knight Rises, Modine famously slammed The Avengers, declaring “Batman would tear off Iron Man’s head and s**t down his neck.”

    Although Doctor Strange is yet to be officially announced, it's been reported that Marvel is meeting with potential directors for the film, with Mark Andrews (Brave), Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair), Dean Israelite (Welcome to Yesterday), and Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies) all said to be in contention.

    Would you like to see Matthew Modine as Doctor Strange? Let us know in the comments below or head on over to The Flickering Myth Forum...

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    The LEGO Movie
    Everything continues to be awesome for directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller with The LEGO Movie maintaining top spot once again at the North American box office with $31.5 million, pushing the total gross to a staggering $183.1 million in just three weeks.

    The LEGO Movie is the most successful film of 2014 so far, so it comes as little surprise that a sequel to the animated comedy has already been commissioned for a May 2017 release.

    Elsewhere, newcomers 3 Days to Kill and Pompeii both struggled against competition from The LEGO Movie, with the former earning $12.3 million and the latter making $10 million.

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    A series of images debuting new merchandise for Transformers: Age of Extinction has arrived online, giving us a better look at Drift, Crosshairs and Lockdown. The keychains show only character faces but it’s evident Optimus Prime and Bumblebee have had entire makeovers. The three other keychains look somewhat human and incredibly strange looking; check them out courtesy of TFW2005...

    Transformers: Age of Extinction

    Transformers: Age of Extinction

    Transformers: Age of Extinction

    Transformers: Age of Extinction is set for release on June 27th with Michael Bay directing a cast that includes Mark Wahlberg (Pain & Gain), Jack Reynor (What Richard Did), Stanley Tucci (Captain America: The First Avenger), Nicola Peltz (Bates Motel), Bingbing Li (Resident Evil: Retribution), Sophia Myles (Underworld), Victoria Summer (Saving Mr. Banks), Titus Welliver (Lost), and T.J. Miller (She's Out of My League). Watch the Super Bowl TV Spot here.

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    Samuel Anderson joins Doctor Who as new companion Danny Pink
    When Doctor Who returns to our screens, not only will we be getting a new-look Doctor in Peter Capaldi's Twelfth incarnation of the Time-Lord, but we'll also be getting another companion, with Samuel Anderson (The History Boys) adding to the former Emmerdale contingent by joining the cast as Danny Pink, a fellow teacher with Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) at Coal Hill School.

    "I was so excited to join Doctor Who, I wanted to jump and click my heels but I was scared I might not come down before filming started," states Anderson. "It's a quintessential part of British culture and I can't believe I'm part of it. It's an honour to be able to work alongside Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman and I can't wait to show people how my character becomes involved with such a fantastic duo."

    Filming is currently underway on the eighth series of NuWho and it is set to air on BBC One later this year.

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    Amanda Seyfried
    Amanda Seyfried (Les Miserables, Lovelace) is set to reunite with Seth MacFarlane - co-star and director of the upcoming Western comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West - with The Hollywood Reporter revealing that the actress has signed on for the female lead in the Family Guy creator's comedy sequel Ted 2.

    The follow up to the 2012 smash-hit comedy will see MacFarlane returning to direct, as well as once again lending his voice to the eponymous foul-mouthed bear. Mark Wahlberg is also set to return as Ted's best buddy John Bennett and the sequel is currently scheduled to arrive in cinemas on June 26th 2015.

    Meanwhile A Million Ways to Die in the West will open on May 30th this year, with a cast that also includes Charlize Theron (Prometheus), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), Giovanni Ribisi (Dads), Sarah Silverman (Wreck-It Ralph), and Liam Neeson (Non-Stop). Watch the red-band trailer here.

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    Marvel Studios caused quite a stir last week with the reveal of the first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, which gave us our first look at the ragtag team of cosmic superheroes [if you fancy watching it again, you can do so here]. The August release is set to open a new chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although it will be tied to previous events - particularly the mid-credits cameo in The Avengers from the Mad Titan himself, Thanos.

    Speaking to the Pointless Podcast, Guardians director James Gunn has spoken about the villain, although he played coy when asked about the chances of us seeing an adaptation of the classic limited series The Infinity Gauntlet: "Here's the thing, truthfully the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes out of both the 616 and Ultimate Marvel Comics universe, and then they recreate some elements themselves. What Thanos wants in the comics is not necessarily what Thanos wants in the movies; we don't know yet."

    Do you want to see a straight-up adaptation of the Infinity Gauntlet saga, presumably in The Avengers 3, or would you like to see Marvel Studios putting together an original story for Thanos' big showdown with Earth's Mightiest Heroes? Let us know in the comments below, or head on over to The Flickering Myth Forum...

    Guardians of the Galaxy is set for release on August 1st with Gunn directing a cast that inlcudes Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana (Star Trek Into Darkness) as Gamora, Dave Bautista (Riddick) as Drax the Destroyer, Bradley Cooper (American Hustle) as Rocket Raccoon, Vin Diesel (Fast & Furious 6) as Groot, Benicio Del Toro (Sin City) as The Collector, Lee Pace (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) as Ronan the Accuser, Karen Gillan (Doctor Who) as Nebula, Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) as Korath, John C. Reilly (Step Brothers) as Rhomman Dey, and Glenn Close (Damages) as Nova Prime Rael. 

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    Watch the trailer for Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Lost MissionsFans of the award-winning animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars got some great news a couple of weeks back when it was announced that the show would get a proper send-off courtesy of Netflix, with the streaming service picking up the sixth and final season, consisting of 13 episodes. Check out the trailer for Season 6 - dubbed The Lost Missions - after the official synopsis....

    "Previewing the long-awaited final episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this trailer offers a glimpse into the various story arcs of The Lost Missions. Yoda communes with Qui-Gon Jinn and is sent on a journey; Jedi Master Plo Koon discovers Sifo-Dyas' lightsaber and a clue to the creation of the clone army; Count Dooku looks to protect the secret of Order 66; Anakin Skywalker rescues Padmé Amidala; and Mace Windu battles multiple foes."

    Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Lost Missions will arrive on Netflix on March 7th, along with all of the previous episodes from seasons 1 - 5.

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    Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 adds to its cast
    We apologise profusely and you can stop reading this now if you so choose to, but the sequel to Paul Blart: Mall Cop has added five new names to its cast.

    Wizards of Waverly Place and Grown Ups 2 star David Henrie has signed on as a charming valet attendant whom Blart’s (Kevin James) daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez) develops a crush on. while Molly Shannon (Saturday Night Live) will also co-star along with Eduardo Verastegui (Bella), Nicholas Turturro (I Now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry) and James' brother Gary Valentine (The King of Queens), who'll be playing fellow security guards.

    Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is once again written by James and Nick Bakay, with Andy Fickman (Race to Witch Mountain, Parental Guidance) set to direct.

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    Ahead of its release here next month, Warner Bros. has debuted a UK trailer for the record-breaking Kickstarter-funded Veronica Mars movie, which sees series creator Rob Thomas directing original cast members Kristen Bell (House of Lies, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Jason Dohring (The Ringer), Chris Lowell (The Help, Up in the Air), Ryan Hansen (G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Krysten Ritter (Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23), Percy Daggs III (Detention), Tina Majorino (True Blood, Grey’s Anatomy), Francis Capra (Blood and Bone), Ken Marino (Party Down, Burning Love) and Enrico Colantoni (Just Shoot Me). Check it out after the official synopsis...

    "Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) has put Neptune and her amateur sleuthing days behind her on the eve of graduating law school. While interviewing at high-end law firms, Veronica gets a call from her ex-boyfriend Logan (Jason Dohring) who has been accused of murder. Veronica heads back to Neptune just to help Logan find an attorney, but when things don’t seem right with how Logan’s case is perceived and handled, Veronica finds herself being pulled back into a life she thought she had left behind."

    Veronica Mars is set for a digital release here in the UK on March 14th, and will also be showing at the following UK cinemas - Empire Cinemas - Leicester Square (London), Birmingham and Newcastle, Showcase Cinemas - Dartford (London), Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol, Leeds and Nottingham and in Ireland at the Movies@Dundrum cinema in Dublin.

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    This week sees IDW releasing a special Director's Cut reprint of the classic adaptation of the first three episodes of Samurai Jack, which includes bonus pages and commentary from creator Genndy Tartavovsky (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and a brand new cover by artist Bill Wray. Check out a preview here...

    "BACK TO THE PAST! As the evil demon Aku takes over the ancient world, the fate of the world rests in the hands of a noble samurai warrior. But when Aku blasts him into the future (a future ruled by the shapeshifting demon), Samurai Jack must find a way to return and right the wrongs of the past!"

    Samurai Jack Special: Director’s Cut is released tomorrow, priced $7.99.

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    Matt Smith reviews the fifth episode of The Following season 2...

    With last week’s episode feeling like a bit of a filler, with moments that could’ve been powerful or important seemingly sucked dry of major significance, The Following had to up its game. In terms of important moments and, perhaps, imagination.

    With an episode featuring the use of a phone battery dying in order to raise the tension, imagination might not be the first word on everyone’s lips. But with Joe Carroll being the name on everyone’s lips this week, it seems it’s more about Ryan Hardy and his gradual fall into becoming what he’s always despised.

    Separated from the FBI, and trying to catch up to one of the few family members left alive as she tails a killer, Ryan Hardy must feel like he gets all the rotten luck in the world and then some. He’s against the law, just like Carroll, and he has to push the limits of what’s right in order to reach his goal. But if he ever reaches Carroll, would he kill him or arrest him?

    That’s another similarity that keeps cropping up as the series progresses. Would Carroll want Hardy dead, given the most opportune chance? To be cynical for a moment, Ryan Hardy is obviously protected by being the protagonist of the show (tension deriving mostly from who else is on which side). But there are many instances of Ryan Hardy in danger and it means the question must be asked. What would Joe Carroll make of the news of Ryan Hardy’s death? Shot down by some goons as he trails his next elusive lead?

    Joe Carroll has enough to deal with this week though, what with his reemergence and his new surroundings. Two sociopaths play the flirting game and the power game at the same time. In a way, like everyone, but they’re aware of the struggle and positioning for power. He’s the leader of a powerful cult that have been cut down, while she’s on the rise as the producers decide to display a typical show of something I like to call ‘the mothers’, where a seemingly unstoppable killer (or killers) are under the whim of their respective matriarch.

    This week’s episode also gives the opportunity to witness Joe Carroll figure out a problem all his own making. He’s shown to be at least a little self-aware, along with his self-indulgence and monstrous tendencies, showing he’s not a complete animal. Until, later in the episode, he does become an animal. It’s a mixed characterization at worst, or at best shows his instincts fighting with his brain.

    Speaking of using their brain, for the first time I’ve ever seen during a shootout, someone plays dead. That someone is Ryan Hardy, displaying killer tactics only someone who knew they couldn’t be killed would use. He then uses these killer tactics to lock a woman in a cupboard (what happened to her after he ran off?) and murders one of the cult members.

    And thus tiny moments are made important; with each step Ryan Hardy takes seemingly dragging him further into oblivion. Hardy realises the things he’s doing are both against the law and perhaps morally wrong. Is the price he pays worth Joe Carroll’s arrest or head? Is it even Hardy’s decision as to whether he pays it? Once again this series sets up more questions than it answers. This is along with the steadfast promise of gruesome images and situations that are unfortunately forever tied to this show’s palette at the same time seemingly every show uses them to shock audiences. With mixed messages abound in both the episode and opinion, this is at least a good step towards keeping on track after last week’s stopover.

    Matt Smith - follow me on Twitter.

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    Meryl Streep to star as Emmeline Pankhurst in Suffragette
    Meryl Streep has signed on to play famed suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst alongside Carey Mulligan (Shame), Helena Bonham Carter (The King's Speech), Romola Garai (Amazing Grace), Anne-Marie Duff (Shameless), Natalie Press (Ill Manors), Ben Wishaw (Skyfall) and Brandan Gleeson (In Bruges) in Suffragette.

    The film will chart the early activists for womens’ liberation and their run-ins with the government and will reunite Streep with The Iron Lady scribe Abi Morgan, while Sarah Gavron (Village at the End of the World) is set to direct.

    Suffragette would seem to signal another Oscar charge for Streep in the near future, the actress having been nominated for a record 18th time this year for her performance in August: Osage County.

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    Jack O'Connell to lead spy thriller Section 6
    Man of the moment Jack O’Connell has signed on to Universal’s spy thriller Section 6. The film will focus on the creation of MI6, the British intelligence agency founded during the First World War.

    Penned by Aaron Berg, Section 6 will be produced by Mark Platt alongside Adam Siegel for Marc Platt Productions. A director is yet to attach themselves to the project.

    One time Skins star O’Connell will next be seen in the sword and sandals sequel 300: Rise of an Empire and the BIFA winning drama Starred Up both of which open March.

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    The Lone Gunmen find themselves face to face with the Robots in Disguise this week with the release of The X-Files: Conspiracy: The Transformers, written by Conspiracy architect Paul Crilley with art by Dheeraj Verma (Transformers: Fall of Cyberton). Check out a preview here...

    "The Lone Gunmen’s trail of secrets leads them to evidence of extraterrestrial life—mechanical extraterrestrial life! Will OPTIMUS PRIME and his allies trust these human interlopers—and what secret conspiracy could involve CYBERTRON, anyway?!"

    The X-Files: Conspiracy: The Transformers hits shelves tomorrow, priced $3.99.

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    Drew Pearce confirms Joss Whedon for The Avengers 3?
    Joss Whedon is currently busy with production on the hotly-anticipated sequel The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but if Iron Man 3 screenwriter Drew Pearce is to be believed, it seems that Whedon will be reuniting with Earth's Mightiest Heroes once again in Phase Three for The Avengers 3...

    "One of the things when you’re a writer or director in the Marvel universe is you come in, you leave some tasty morsels dangling at the end, and maybe you’re the one who comes in and picks them up again next time, or maybe it’s someone else, or maybe they just hang there awhile and that’s fine too," Pearce told when asked if there are any plans to build on the conclusion of the latest Marvel One-Shot All Hail the King. "Despite any cliffhanger-ness to the short, I also don’t feel like it’s unsatisfying. That’s all you can really hope to do. Unless you’re Joss [Whedon] and you’re making Avengers 2 and 3, and then you have a pretty good idea if you’re making the next one or not."

    So, it would appear that unless The Avengers: Age of Ultron tanks hard (which, let's face it, isn't going to happen) that Whedon will be back in the director's chair once again to complete the Avengers trilogy. Meanwhile, The Avengers: Age of Ultron is set for release on May 1st 2015 with Whedon directing a cast that includes MCU veterans Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (The Incredible Hulk), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Don Cheadle (War Machine), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) and Paul Bettany (JARVIS / The Vision) alongside new additions Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass 2) as Quicksilver, Elizabeth Olsen (Oldboy) as the Scarlet Witch, James Spader (The Blacklist) as Ultron, and Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula) as Baron Strucker.

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