This is not rumor, this is confirmed: James Spader is cast as Ultron in the upcoming Age of Ultron movie from Marvel Studios. What does this mean for the story? It’s hard to say as speculation has generally been that JARVIS, Iron Man’s AI butler would go to the dark side, inhabit a suit or build himself something brand new and so become Ultron. There was even an animatic from an unused scene in the Avengers that surface recently suggesting that very scenario. However, for Avengers and all the Iron Man films JARVIS has been voiced by Paul Bettany. Does this mean that Spader will be taking his place or that JARVIS isn’t Ultron after all and that animatic was a clever piece of misdirection? Only time will tell.
As for the casting of Spader himself, this seems a solid choice. True, he doesn’t exactly have the physique of a supervillain but that shouldn’t be much of a problem as the role will almost certainly be mostly motion capture. And his talent is superb. He’s played everything from a dorky scientist in Stargate to a cold-blooded hitman in Two Days in the Valley, a guy freakishly obsessed with car crashes in Crash. A megalomaniacal robot shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.