Any high profile genre film project is invariably going to be surrounded by rumors and reports of various degrees of authenticity. “Insider information” is, of course, great for generating traffic for sites, so it is easy to see why many sites would be quick to post stories boasting of such info. But, how accurate are their sources? WE always remember when the rumors are right, but what about when they’re wrong? Now that The Avengers: Age Of Ultron has been out in theaters for over a week, so the things we’re discussing here aren’t spoilers for most of you, we’ve taken eight stories reported as potentially spoilerish and look to see how accurate they were.
Note – One area of rumor we left out of consideration was casting rumors. That process is always in flux and sometimes the reporting that a certain actor may be in contention for a role is accurate at the time, though the role may ultimately go to another for a variety of reasons.
Well, even if MTV wasn’t sourcing “several industry insiders” in their story, it was pretty much a no-brainer that the second Avengers movie would be opening on the first weekend in May. It is the same weekend that Marvel released the first Avengers film, as well as Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010) and Thor (2011). The first Saturday of May is always Free Comic Book Day, an industry-wide initiative to bring more people into local comic book shops, which creates a nice synergy. It just made sense that Marvel would release the followup to their biggest film to date in the same spot as the original premiered.
Rumor: Thanos will be featured in Avengers 2
Source: Cosmic Book News
Reported on: 9/19/12
This is one part of a report that stated that Thanos would be featured in both the upcoming Guardians Of The Galaxy and Avengers 2. And I guess the veracity of the reporting on this comes down to how narrowly you define the word “featured.” Yes, Thanos does show up in Age Of Ultron, but it is only in the film’s mid-credit sequence. His appearance, though, has no direct effect on the immediate plot of the film as it does in Guardians. It does, however, inform the continuing plotlines of Marvel’s films with an eye towards the two-part Avengers: Infinity War coming in 2018 and 2019. Many were if the opinion early on that Avengers 2 would pick up the Thanos story threads more immediately, and so there was reason to believe this would be true. But that mid-credit scene could easily have been replaced with some other, non-Thanos scene and the film itself wouldn’t be impacted.
Rumor: Avengers 2 will set up Phase Three story arc based on the Planet Hulk and World War Hulk comics events
Source: Latino Review
Reported on: 2/4/13
Debunked: 2/27/13 Aint It Cool News, 3/5/13 Joss Whedon vis IGN
Super Bowl weekend 2013, after a few days of teasing, Latino Review published a rumor that the second Avengers movie would be the start of an adaption of the popular recent Planet Hulk and World War Hulk story lines that would play out through Marvel Studio’s Phase Three films.
The original comic book story arcs featured a brain trust of Marvel Comics heroes deciding that Bruce Banner’s alter ego, the Hulk, was just too dangerous to be allowed to continue to roam free, so taking a cue from the finale of the original Gamera movie (1965), they trap him in a rocket and shoot him off into space. Eventually, Banner/Hulk lands on an alien world where he goes from gladiator to king and siring a son before he heads back to Earth, a might peeved with those who sent him on his unwanted trip to begin with. Latino Review asserted that Avengers 2 would end with Banner being rocketed away from Earth and that Phase Three would contain a solo Hulk film telling the Planet Hulk story before returning him to Earth for Avengers 3 which would be be the cinematic take on World War Hulk.
The news certainly spread across the internet like wildfire, exciting many fans. But it was too good to be true. Other outlets swung into action and started going to their own sources for information. Within a few weeks, Aint It Cool News was confident enough to call the story “1000% inaccurate” and even Avengers and Avengers 2 director Joss Whedon came out four weeks after the initial story broke, denying its validity. The last nail in the coffin of this one came a year later when Marvel revealed their full Phrase Three films and there was not a Planet Hulk/ World War Hulk movie title in sight. Latino Review later took the story down at some point, we’ll leave you to guess at their motives as to why. But at least this whopper was preserved at Archive.org.
Rumor: Loki Will Not Be Returning For Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Source: Entertainment Weekly
Reported On: 8/5/13
Following the one-two punch of his appearances in Thor and The Avengers, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki was established as the strongest, best characterized villain in the Marvel cinematic Universe. With people hungry for more, it seemed perhaps a bit cynical to think that Marvel would have Thor’s half-brother show up for a fourth appearance, following Thor: The Dark World. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actor stated that “think there’s anything else Loki could contribute to The Avengers, narratively. Joss gave me so many wonderful things to do in that first film that we’d only be trying to repeat ourselves, and probably less well in the second one.” Well, it turns out that Hiddleston may have been fibbing somewhat, as Thor franchise co-star Idris Elba slipped up and revealed that he and Hiddleston had shot a scene for Age Of Ultron. Of course, Hiddleston’s portion wound up on the cutting room floor, so only through the exigencies of the film making process did this turn out to be true.
Rumor: Baron Strucker will be a secondary villain in Age Of Ultron and Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch work for him.
Source: Latino Review
Reported on: 12/20/13
With their usual interminable braggadocio, Latino Review sought to close out 2013 with one last “scoop” about Age Of Ultron and they actually were fairly on the nose with this one. According to their sources, a then-currently circulating casting notice was searching for a “PHYSICALLY IMPOSING MAN, age range 40-50, Caucasian, for a supporting role.” Latino Review successfully reported that their sources were telling them that the role in question was Baron Strucker, a recurring Marvel Comics villain often see as head of the evil HYDRA organization. Additionally, they claimed to be told that the characters of Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver will start of the film working under his command.
This one’s a bit hard to judge. Seven months earlier, Robert Redford let slip that he was playing a villain in the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Since his character had already been publicly described as one of the heads of spy organization SHIELD, many started to, ultimately correctly, suspect that the film would feature a storyline in which the terrorist organization HYDRA, seen in Captain America: The First Avenger, had infiltrated SHIELD at its highest levels. It wouldn’t be too far a leap to think that the second Avengers film could feature a comics character noted for their association with HYDRA. And since the origins of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are tied to a villain currently in use over at Fox’s X-Men franchise, that aspect of their story could relatively easily be transplanted onto Strucker. A smart guess or insider information?
Additionally, as a villain, Strucker is not that integral to the overall film. His character could easily be replaced with a number of Marvel Comics villains who have been associated with HYDRA over the years. If anything, in terms of the film’s overall narrative, Strucker is the bad guy that James Bond takes down in the traditional pre-credit action sequence of that franchise.
Rumor: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch’s origins could be tied to genetic lab whose trucks were seen in location shooting
Reported on 3/31/14
This one actually comes in as more speculation than a spoiler scoop. As Age Of Ultron was shooting on location in Seoul, South Korea, set videos revealed some action centering around a tractor trailer with the name “U-Gin Genetics Infinite, R&D” emblazoned on the side. ComicBook.com mused that it was possible that being the product of a company that performs genetic manipulation could be the alternate origin of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. This one got debunked hard just a few days later when Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened in theaters with its post-credit scene showing the Twins as the end result of experimentation overseen by Baron Von Strucker of HYDRA. If anything, a whole other hero’s origins are tied into U-Gin.
A variation of the Latino Review Planet Hulk/World War Hulk rumor, this at least plays a little closer to the how things are left at the end of Age Of Ultron, which leads me to think that both rumors are the end result of protracted games of Telephone. In this version, HitFix’s Drew McWeeny states the climax of the film finds the Hulk “onboard a Quin jet on his way off the planet, with no way to immediately turn things around. He’s going to have to ride out the trip. It’s pre-programmed and he can’t stop it.” Well, that’s not exactly how that scene plays out. Sure, we last see Hulk on a Quin jet, but he is staying aboard of his own volition, the end of Bruce Banner’s story arc through the film about being a monster and would be better off away from everyone else.
McWeeny goes on to speculate that Hulk could be on his way to meet up with the Guardians of the Galaxy in their sequel film due in 2017, which in turn would lead to intergalactic despot Thanos turning his gaze “back at the Earth in time for the third ‘Avengers’ film.” And it is a solid way to weave a connection between the films, so it I can’t fault McWeeny too much here. But it was a few weeks before the release of Age Of Ultron when Devin Faraci at Badass Digest would put this rumor to rest by saying that the Hulk will not be shot in space, but trapped in the upper atmosphere of Earth. Of course, he left out/didn’t know that it would be strongly hinted at in the film’s closing scenes that Banner very likely made it back down to the ground but is probably heading off to seclusion for a while. I do concede that script changes and reshoots may have altered plans from how McWeeny heard them to be to how they ultimately played out.
Rumor: Quicksilver dies in Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Source: Bleeding Cool
Reported on: 3/19/15
A fairly straight up spoiler that was just part one of a two-part story that also claimed in addition to the already announced Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Black Panther, that Hulk, Thor, War Machine, Scarlet Witch, Wasp and a fourteen year old Peter Parker/Spider-Man were going to be appearing in next year’s Captain America: Civil War. He noted that Quicksilver would not be part of that film’s lineup as “he doesn’t make it out” of Age Of Ultron. Badass Digest’s Faraci called this one out on twitter as being “untrue,” but Rich Johnston did get it right, as it concerns Quicksilver and Age Of Ultron. And his Civil War lineup came pretty close too to the final announced cast list.
Bleeding Cool’s rumors about AGE OF ULTRON and CIVIL WAR are untrue.
— devin faraci (@devincf) March 19, 2015