Thursday, July 2, 2015

WALL-E (movie or film): Wallet=Qianbao


WALL-Eposter.jpg 
 
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the 2008 film. For the video game based on it, see WALL-E (video game). For the film's soundtrack, see WALL-E (soundtrack).
WALL-E
WALL-Eposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Andrew Stanton
Produced by Jim Morris
Screenplay by Andrew Stanton
Jim Reardon
Story by Andrew Stanton
Pete Docter
Starring Ben Burtt
Elissa Knight
Jeff Garlin
Fred Willard
John Ratzenberger
Kathy Najimy
Sigourney Weaver
MacInTalk
Music by Thomas Newman
Cinematography Jeremy Lasky
Danielle Feinberg
Edited by Stephen Schaffer
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • June 23, 2008 (Los Angeles premiere)
  • June 27, 2008 (United States)
Running time
98 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $180 million[1]
Box office $521.3 million[2]
WALL-E (stylized with an interpunct as WALL·E) is a 2008 American computer-animated science-fiction comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Andrew Stanton, the story follows a robot named WALL-E, who is designed to clean up an abandoned, waste-covered Earth far in the future. He falls in love with another robot named EVE, who also has a programmed task, and follows her into outer space on an adventure that changes the destiny of both his kind and humanity. Both robots exhibit an appearance of free will and emotions similar to humans, which develop further as the film progresses.
After directing Finding Nemo, Stanton felt Pixar had created believable simulations of underwater physics and was willing to direct a film set largely in space. WALL-E has minimal dialogue in its early sequences; many of the characters do not have voices, but instead communicate with body language and robotic sounds, which were designed by Ben Burtt. It is also Pixar's first animated feature with segments featuring live-action characters.
WALL-E was released in the United States and Canada on June 27, 2008. It grossed $23.2 million on its opening day, and $63.1 million during its opening weekend in 3,992 theaters, ranking number one at the box office. This ranks as the fifth highest-grossing opening weekend for a Pixar film. Following Pixar tradition, WALL-E was paired with a short film, Presto, for its theatrical release.
WALL-E was met with critical acclaim, scoring an approval rating of 96% on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. It grossed $521.3 million worldwide, won the 2008 Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film, the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form,[3] the final Nebula Award for Best Script,[4] the Saturn Award for Best Animated Film, and the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature as well as being nominated for five other Academy Awards at the 81st Academy Awards. WALL-E ranks first in TIME‍ '​s "Best Movies of the Decade".[5] The film is seen as a critique on larger societal issues. It addresses consumerism, corporatism, nostalgia, environmental problems, waste management, human impact on the environment, and risks to human civilization and the planet Earth.[6]

Plot

In 2805, Earth is covered in heaps of garbage due to decades of mass consumerism facilitated by the megacorporation Buy 'n' Large ("BnL"). In 2105, BnL evacuated Earth's population in fully automated starliners, leaving behind WALL-E trash compactor robots to clean the planet. Eventually BnL abandons its plan and shuts down the WALL-E robots, except for one which develops sentience after 700 years of life-experience. He manages to remain active by repairing himself using parts from other units.
One day, WALL-E discovers a growing seedling. Later, a spaceship lands and deploys EVE, an advanced robot probe sent from the BnL starliner Axiom to search for vegetation on Earth. WALL-E falls in love with the initially cold and hostile EVE, who gradually softens and befriends him. When WALL-E brings EVE to his home and shows her his collection, she sees the plant, automatically stores it inside herself, and goes into standby mode waiting for her ship to retrieve her. WALL-E, not understanding why EVE seems to have shut down, tries numerous methods to reactivate her. When EVE's automated ship returns and collects EVE, WALL-E clings to its hull and thus travels through space to the Axiom, which is hidden behind a nebula.
On the Axiom, the descendants of the ship's original passengers have become morbidly obese after centuries of microgravity effects and relying on the ship's automated systems for their every need. The ship's current captain, McCrea, leaves most of the ship's operations under the control of its robotic autopilot, Auto.
WALL-E follows EVE to the bridge of the Axiom, where the Captain learns that by putting the plant in the ship's holo-detector to verify Earth's habitability, the Axiom will make a hyperjump back to Earth so the passengers can recolonize it. However, Auto orders McCrea's robotic assistant GO-4 to steal the plant as part of his own no return directive "A113", which was issued to all BnL autopilots after the corporation concluded in 2110 that the planet could not be saved.
With the plant missing, EVE is considered defective and taken to the repair ward along with WALL-E (for cleaning). WALL-E mistakes the process on EVE for torture and tries to save her, accidentally releasing a horde of malfunctioning robots that had been quarantined. The on-board security systems then designate both WALL-E and EVE as "rogue robots". Fed up with WALL-E's disruptions, EVE takes him to the escape pod bay to send him home, but they witness GO-4 dispose of the missing plant by placing it inside a pod which is set to self-destruct. WALL-E enters the pod to retrieve the plant, but GO-4 jettisons the pod into space. WALL-E escapes with the plant before the pod explodes, using a fire extinguisher to propel himself back toward the Axiom, where he and EVE reconcile and celebrate with a dance in space.
When the plant is brought to the captain, EVE's recordings of Earth are analyzed and the captain concludes that mankind must return to restore their planet. However, Auto reveals his directive and stages a mutiny. When WALL-E tries to protect the plant, Auto electrocutes him, severely damaging him. EVE realizes the only parts for repairing WALL-E are in his truck back on Earth. She helps him bring the plant to the holo-detector to activate the ship's hyperjump. McCrea opens the holo-detector and fights Auto for control of the ship. Auto partially crushes WALL-E by closing the holo-detector on him, but McCrea finally disables him. EVE places the plant in the holo-detector, freeing WALL-E and instantly setting the Axiom to hyperjump to Earth.
EVE rushes WALL-E back to his home where she repairs and reactivates him, but he no longer recognizes her, having reverted to his original programming as an emotionless waste compactor, and he begins crushing the artifacts he had collected in his truck. Heartbroken, EVE follows WALL-E outside, stops him and gives him a farewell kiss, which jolts his memory and restores his personality. WALL-E and EVE happily reunite as the humans and robots of the Axiom begin to restore Earth and its environment.

Cast and characters

  • Ben Burtt produced the voice of WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth-class), the title character. WALL-E, a robot who has developed sentience, is the only robot of his kind shown to be still functioning on Earth. He is a small mobile compactor box with all-terrain treads, three-fingered shovel hands, binocular eyes, and retractable solar cells for power. He collects spare parts for himself, which becomes pivotal to the plot, and replaces broken and/or worn out parts on-the-fly by cannibalizing other defunct WALL-Es. Although working diligently to fulfill his directive to clean up the garbage (all the while accompanied by his cockroach friend Hal and music playing from his on-board recorder) he is distracted by his curiosity, collecting trinkets of interest. He stores and displays these "treasures" such as a birdcage full of rubber ducks, a Rubik's Cube, Zippo lighters, disposable cups filled with plastic cutlery and a golden trophy at his home where he examines and categorizes his finds while watching video cassettes of musicals via an iPod viewed through a large Fresnel lens.
    • Burtt is also credited for the voice of M-O (Microbe Obliterator), as well as most of the other robots. M-O is a tiny, obsessively clean maintenance robot with rollers for hands who keeps Axiom clean.
  • Elissa Knight as EVE (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator), a sleek robot probe whose directive is to locate vegetation on Earth and verify habitability. She has a glossy white egg-shaped body and blue LED eyes. She moves using antigravity technology and is equipped with scanners, specimen storage and a plasma cannon in her arm, which she is quick to use.
  • Jeff Garlin as Captain B. McCrea, the commander, and apparently only officer, on the Axiom. His duties as captain are daily routines, with the ship's autopilot handling all true command functions.
  • Fred Willard as Shelby Forthright, historical CEO of the Buy n Large Corporation, shown only in videos recorded around the time of the Axiom‍  '​s initial launch. Constantly optimistic, Forthright proposed the evacuation plans, then to clean up and recolonize the planet. However, the corporation gave up after realizing how toxic Earth had become. Forthright is the only live action character with a speaking role, the first in any Pixar film.
  • MacInTalk, the text-to-speech program for the Apple Macintosh, was used for the voice of Auto, the rogue autopilot artificial intelligence built into the ship. Unlike other robots in the film, Auto is not influenced by WALL-E, instead following directive A113, which is to prevent the Axiom and the humans from returning to Earth because of the toxicity, and he works to prevent anyone from deviating from it.
  • John Ratzenberger and Kathy Najimy as John and Mary, respectively. John and Mary both live on the Axiom and are so dependent on their personal video screens and automatic services that they are oblivious to their surroundings, for instance not noticing that the ship features a giant swimming pool. However, they are brought out of their trances after separate encounters with WALL-E, eventually meeting face-to-face for the first time.
  • Sigourney Weaver as the voice of the Axiom‍ '​s computer. Stanton joked about the role with Weaver, saying, "You realize you get to be 'Mother' now?"[7][8] referring to the name of the ship's computer in the film Alien, which also starred Weaver.[8]

Production

Writing

BACK ON M-O AND WALLY [sic]
M-O just finishes cleaning the floor.
Wally is fascinated.
Impishly makes another mark.
M-O compulsively cleans it. Can’t resist.
M-O (bleeps): [Look, it stays clean. You got that?]
Wally wipes the bottom of his tread on M-O’s face.
M-O loses it.
Scrubs his own face.
Stanton wrote the screenplay to focus on the visuals
and as a guide to what the sound effects needed to convey[9]
Andrew Stanton conceived WALL-E during a lunch with fellow writers John Lasseter, Pete Docter, and Joe Ranft in 1994. Toy Story was nearing completion and the writers brainstormed ideas for their next projects – A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc., and Finding Nemo – at this lunch. Stanton asked, "What if mankind had to leave Earth and somebody forgot to turn off the last robot?"[7] Having struggled for many years with making the characters in Toy Story appealing, Stanton found his simple Robinson Crusoe-esque idea of a lonely robot on a deserted planet strong.[10][11] Stanton made WALL-E a waste collector as the idea was instantly understandable, and because it was a low-status menial job that made him sympathetic.[12] Stanton also liked the imagery of stacked cubes of garbage.[13] He did not find the idea dark because having a planet covered in garbage was for him a childish imagining of disaster.[14]
Stanton and Pete Docter developed the film under the title of Trash Planet for two months in 1995, but they did not know how to develop the story and Docter chose to direct Monsters, Inc. instead.[15][16] Stanton came up with the idea of WALL-E finding a plant, because his life as the sole inhabitant on a deserted world reminded Stanton of a plant growing among pavements.[17] Before they turned their attention to other projects, Stanton and Lasseter thought about having WALL-E fall in love, as it was the necessary progression away from loneliness.[14] Stanton started writing WALL-E again in 2002 while completing Finding Nemo.[18] Stanton formatted his script in a manner reminiscent of Dan O'Bannon's Alien. O'Bannon wrote his script in a manner Stanton found reminded him of haiku, where visual descriptions were done in continuous lines of a few words. Stanton wrote his robot dialogue conventionally, but placed them in brackets.[11] In late 2003, Stanton and a few others created a story reel of the first twenty minutes of the film. Lasseter and Steve Jobs were impressed and officially began development,[19] though Jobs stated he did not like the title, originally spelled "W.A.L.-E."[20]
While the first act of WALL-E "fell out of the sky" for Stanton,[14] he had originally wanted aliens to plant EVE to explore Earth and the rest of the film was different. When WALL-E comes to the Axiom, he incites a Spartacus-style rebellion by the robots against the remnants of the human race, which were cruel alien Gels (completely devolved, gelatinous, boneless, legless, see-through, green creatures that resemble Jell-O). James Hicks, a physiologist, mentioned to Stanton the concept of atrophy and the effects prolonged weightlessness would have on humans living in space for an inordinately extended time period.[7][21][22] Therefore, this was the inspiration of the humans degenerating into the alien Gels,[23] and their ancestry would have been revealed in a Planet of the Apes-style ending.[24] The Gels also spoke a made-up gibberish language, but Stanton scrapped this idea because he thought it would be too complicated for the audience to understand and they could easily be driven off from the storyline.[25] The Gels had a royal family, who host a dance in a castle on a lake in the back of the ship, and the Axiom curled up into a ball when returning to Earth in this incarnation of the story.[25] Stanton decided this was too bizarre and unengaging, and conceived humanity as "big babies".[24] Stanton developed the metaphorical theme of the humans learning to stand again and "grow[ing] up",[24][26] wanting WALL-E and EVE's relationship to inspire humanity because he felt few films explore how utopian societies come to exist.[27] The process of depicting the descendants of humanity as the way they appear in the movie was slow. Stanton first decided to put a nose and ears on the Gels so the audience could recognize them. Eventually, fingers, legs, clothes, and other characteristics were added until they arrived at the concept of being fetus-like to allow the audience to see themselves in the characters.[25]
In a later version of the film, Auto comes to the docking bay to retrieve EVE's plant. The film would have its first cutaway to the captain, but Stanton moved that as he found it too early to begin moving away from WALL-E's point-of-view. As an homage to Get Smart,[28] Auto takes the plant and goes into the bowels of the ship into a room resembling a brain where he watches videos of Buy n Large's scheme to clean up the Earth falling apart through the years. Stanton removed this to keep some mystery as to why the plant is taken from EVE. The captain appears to be unintelligent, but Stanton wanted him to just be unchallenged; otherwise he would have been unempathetic.[23] One example of how unintelligent the captain was depicted initially is that he was seen to wear his hat upside-down, only to fix it before he challenges Auto. In the finished film, he merely wears it casually atop his head, tightening it when he assumes real command of the Axiom.[25]
Originally, EVE would have been electrocuted by Auto, and then be quickly saved from ejection at the hands of the WALL-A robots by WALL-E. He would have then revived her by replacing her power unit with a cigarette lighter he brought from Earth. Stanton reversed this following a 2007 test screening, as he wanted to show EVE replacing her directive of bringing the plant to the captain with repairing WALL-E, and it made WALL-E even more heroic if he held the holo-detector open despite being badly hurt. Stanton also moved the moment where WALL-E reveals his plant (which he had snatched from the self-destructing escape pod) from producing it from a closet to immediately after his escape, as it made EVE happier and gave them stronger motivation to dance around the ship.[23] Stanton felt half the audience at the screening believed the humans would be unable to cope with living on Earth and would have died out after the film's end. Jim Capobianco, director of the short film Your Friend the Rat, created an end credits animation that continued the story – and stylized in different artistic movements throughout history – to clarify an optimistic tone.[29]

Design

WALL-E was the most complex Pixar production since Monsters, Inc. because of the world and the history that had to be conveyed.[10] Whereas most Pixar films have up to 75,000 storyboards, WALL-E required 125,000.[30] Production designer Ralph Eggleston wanted the lighting of the first act on Earth to be romantic, and that of the second act on the Axiom to be cold and sterile. During the third act, the romantic lighting is slowly introduced into the Axiom environment.[7] Pixar studied Chernobyl and the city of Sofia to create the ruined world; art director Anthony Christov was from Bulgaria and recalled Sofia used to have problems storing its garbage.[31][32] Eggleston bleached out the whites on Earth to make WALL-E feel vulnerable. The overexposed light makes the location look more vast. Because of the haziness, the cubes making up the towers of garbage had to be large, otherwise they would have lost shape (in turn, this helped save rendering time). The dull tans of Earth subtly become soft pinks and blues when EVE arrives. When WALL-E shows EVE all his collected items, all the lights he has collected light up to give an inviting atmosphere, like a Christmas tree. Eggleston tried to avoid the colors yellow and green so WALL-E – who was made yellow to emulate a tractor – would not blend into the deserted Earth, and to make the plant more prominent.[33]
WALL-E holding a bra
WALL-E finds a bra. Roger Deakins and Dennis Muren were consulted on realistic lighting including backgrounds that are less focused than foregrounds.
Stanton also wanted the lighting to look realistic and evoke the science fiction films of his youth. He felt Pixar had captured the physics of being underwater with Finding Nemo, so for WALL-E he wanted to push that for air. It was while rewatching some of his favorite science fiction films he realized Pixar's films lacked the look of 70 mm film and its barrel distortion, lens flare and racking focus.[10] Producer Jim Morris invited Roger Deakins and Dennis Muren to advise on lighting and atmosphere. Muren spent several months with Pixar, while Deakins hosted one talk and was requested to stay on for another two weeks. Stanton said Muren's experience came from integrating computer animation into live-action settings, while Deakins helped them understand not to overly complicate their camerawork and lighting.[27] 1970s Panavision cameras were used to help the animators understand and replicate handheld imperfections like unfocused backgrounds in digital environments.[7] The first lighting test consisted of building a three-dimensional replica of WALL-E, filming it with a 70 mm camera, and then trying to replicate that in the computer.[34] Stanton cited the shallow lens work of Gus Van Sant's films as an influence, as it created intimacy in each close-up. Stanton chose angles for the virtual cameras that a live-action filmmaker would choose if filming on a set.[14]
Stanton wanted the Axiom‍ '​s interior to resemble Shanghai and Dubai.[10] Eggleston studied 1960s NASA paintings and the original concept art for Tomorrowland for the Axiom, to reflect that era's sense of optimism.[7] Stanton remarked "We are all probably very similar in our backgrounds here [at Pixar] in that we all miss the Tomorrowland that was promised us from the heyday of Disneyland," and wanted a "jet pack" feel.[10] Pixar also studied the Disney Cruise Line and visited Las Vegas, which was helpful in understanding artificial lighting.[7] Eggleston based his Axiom designs on the futuristic architecture of Santiago Calatrava. Eggleston divided the inside of the ship into three sections; the rear's economy class has a basic gray concrete texture with graphics keeping to the red, blue and white of the BnL logo. The coach class with living/shopping spaces has 'S' shapes as people are always looking for "what's around the corner". Stanton intended to have many colorful signs, but he realized this would overwhelm the audience and went with Eggleston's original idea of a small number of larger signs. The premier class is a large Zen-like spa with colors limited to turquoise, cream and tan, and leads on to the captain's warm carpeted and wooded quarters and the sleek dark bridge.[33] In keeping with the artificial Axiom, camera movements were modeled after those of the steadicam.[35]
The use of live action was a stepping stone for Pixar, as Stanton was planning to make John Carter of Mars his next project.[10] Storyboarder Derek Thompson noted introducing live action meant they had to make the rest of the film look even more realistic.[36] Eggleston added that if the historical humans had been animated and slightly caricaturized, then the audience would not have recognized how serious their devolution was.[33] Stanton cast Fred Willard as the historical Buy n Large CEO because "He's the most friendly and insincere car salesman I could think of."[24] The CEO says "stay the course," which Stanton used because he thought it was funny.[37] Industrial Light & Magic did the visual effects for these shots.[7]

Animation

WALL-E went undeveloped during the 1990s partly because Stanton and Pixar were not confident enough yet to have a feature length film with a main character that behaved like Luxo Jr. or R2-D2.[11] Stanton explained there are two types of robots in cinema: "human[s] with metal skin", like the Tin Man, or "machine[s] with function" like Luxo and R2. He found the latter idea "powerful" because it allowed the audience to project personalities onto the characters, as they do with babies and pets: "You're compelled ... you almost can't stop yourself from finishing the sentence 'Oh, I think it likes me! I think it's hungry! I think it wants to go for a walk!'"[38] He added, "We wanted the audience to believe they were witnessing a machine that has come to life."[7] The animators visited recycling stations to study machinery, and also met robot designers, visited NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to study robots, watched a recording of a Mars rover,[18] and borrowed a bomb detecting robot from the San Francisco Police Department. Simplicity was preferred in their performances as giving them too many movements would make them feel human.[7]
Stanton wanted WALL-E to be a box and EVE to be like an egg.[39] WALL-E's eyes were inspired by a pair of binoculars Stanton was given when watching the Oakland Athletics play against the Boston Red Sox. He "missed the entire inning" because he was distracted by them.[40] The director was reminded of Buster Keaton and decided the robot would not need a nose or mouth.[41] Stanton added a zoom lens to make WALL-E more sympathetic.[41] Ralph Eggleston noted this feature gave the animators more to work with and gave the robot a childlike quality.[33] Pixar's studies of trash compactors during their visits to recycling stations inspired his body.[7] His tank treads were inspired by a wheelchair someone had developed that used treads instead of wheels.[39] The animators wanted him to have elbows, but realized this was unrealistic because he is only designed to pull garbage into his body.[7] His arms also looked flimsy when they did a test of him waving.[39] Animation director Angus MacLane suggested they attach his arms to a track on the sides of his body to move them around, based on the inkjet printers his father designed. This arm design contributed to creating the character's posture, so if they wanted him to be nervous, they would lower them.[42] Stanton was unaware of the similarities between WALL-E and Johnny 5 from Short Circuit until others pointed it out to him.[11]
From left to right, characters Auto, the captain, and EVE are pictured in a room within the Axiom ship.
Auto, the captain and EVE
Stanton wanted EVE to be at the higher end of technology, and asked iPod designer Jonathan Ive to inspect her design. He was very impressed.[10] Her eyes are modelled on Lite-Brite toys,[41] but Pixar chose not to make them overly expressive as it would be too easy to have her eyes turn into hearts to express love or something similar.[39] Her limited design meant the animators had to treat her like a drawing, relying on posing her body to express emotion.[7] They also found her similar to a manatee or a narwhal because her floating body resembled an underwater creature.[39] Auto was a conscious homage to HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the usage of Also sprach Zarathustra for the showdown between the captain and Auto furthers that.[11][not in citation given] The manner in which he hangs from a wall gives him a threatening feel, like a spider.[43] Originally, Auto was designed entirely differently, resembling EVE, but masculine and authoritative; the Steward robots were also more aggressive Patrol-bots.[23] The majority of the robot cast were formed with the Build-a-bot program, where different heads, arms and treads were combined together in over a hundred variations.[7] The humans were modelled on sea lions due to their blubbery bodies,[33] as well as babies. The filmmakers noticed baby fat is a lot tighter than adult fat and copied that texture for the film's humans.[44]
To animate their robots, the film's story crew and animation crew watched a Keaton and a Charlie Chaplin film every day for almost a year, and occasionally a Harold Lloyd picture.[11] Afterwards, the filmmakers knew all emotions could be conveyed silently. Stanton cited Keaton's "great stone face" as giving them perseverance in animating a character with an unchanging expression.[41] As he rewatched these, Stanton felt that filmmakers – since the advent of sound – relied on dialogue too much to convey exposition.[11] The filmmakers dubbed the cockroach WALL-E keeps as a pet "Hal", in reference to silent film producer Hal Roach (as well as being an additional reference to HAL 9000).[7] They also watched 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Black Stallion and Never Cry Wolf, films that had sound but were not reliant on dialogue.[36] Stanton acknowledged Silent Running as an influence because its silent robots were a forerunner to the likes of R2-D2,[27] and that the "hopeless romantic" Woody Allen also inspired WALL-E.[15]

Sound

Producer Jim Morris recommended Ben Burtt as sound designer for WALL-E because Stanton kept using R2-D2 as the benchmark for the robots.[28] Burtt had completed Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and told his wife he would no longer work on films with robots, but found WALL-E and its substitution of voices with sound "fresh and exciting".[7] He recorded 2500 sounds for the film, which was twice the average number for a Star Wars film,[18] and a record in his career.[7] Burtt began work in 2005,[45] and experimented with filtering his voice for two years.[46] Burtt described the robot voices as "like a toddler [...] universal language of intonation. 'Oh', 'Hm?', 'Huh!', you know?"[47]
During production Burtt had the opportunity to look at the items used by Jimmy MacDonald, Disney's in-house sound designer for many of their classic films. Burtt used many of MacDonald's items on WALL-E. Because Burtt was not simply adding sound effects in post-production, the animators were always evaluating his new creations and ideas, which Burtt found an unusual experience.[48] He worked in sync with the animators, returning their animation after adding the sounds to give them more ideas.[7] Burtt would choose scientifically accurate sounds for each character, but if he could not find one that worked, he would choose a dramatic if unrealistic noise.[48] Burtt would find hundreds of sounds by looking at concept art of characters, before he and Stanton pared it down to a distinct few for each robot.[10]
Burtt saw a hand-cranked electrical generator while watching Island in the Sky, and bought an identical, unpacked device from 1950 on eBay to use for WALL-E moving around.[49] Burtt also used an automobile self starter for when WALL-E goes fast,[48] and the sound of cars being wrecked at a demolition derby provided for WALL-E's compressing trash in his body.[50] The Macintosh computer chime was used to signify when WALL-E has fully recharged his battery. For EVE, Burtt wanted her humming to have a musical quality.[48] Burtt was only able to provide neutral or masculine voices, so Pixar employee Elissa Knight was asked to provide her voice for Burtt to electronically modify. Stanton deemed the sound effect good enough to properly cast her in the role.[37] Burtt recorded a flying 10-foot-long (3.0 m) radio-controlled jet plane for EVE's flying,[7] and for her plasma cannon, Burtt hit a slinky hung from a ladder with a timpani stick. He described it as a "cousin" to the blaster noise from Star Wars.[51]
MacInTalk was used because Stanton "wanted Auto to be the epitome of a robot, cold, zeros & ones, calculating, and soulless [and] Stephen Hawking's kind of voice I thought was perfect."[27] Additional sounds for the character were meant to give him a clockwork feel, to show he is always thinking and calculating.[48]
Burtt had visited Niagara Falls in 1987 and used his recordings from his trip for the sounds of wind.[50] He ran around a hall with a canvas bag up to record the sandstorm though.[7] For the scene where WALL-E runs from falling shopping carts, Burtt and his daughter went to a supermarket and placed a recorder in their cart. They crashed it around the parking lot and then let it tumble down a hill.[52] To create Hal (WALL-E's pet cockroach)'s skittering, he recorded the clicking caused by taking apart and reassembling handcuffs.[7]

Music

Thomas Newman recollaborated with Stanton on WALL-E since the two got along well on Nemo, which gave Newman the Annie Award for Best Music in an Animated Feature. He began writing the score in 2005, in the hope that starting this task early would make him more involved with the finished film. But, Newman remarked that animation is so dependent on scheduling he should have begun work earlier on when Stanton and Reardon were writing the script. EVE's theme was arranged for the first time in October 2007. Her theme when played as she first flies around Earth originally used more orchestral elements, and Newman was encouraged to make it sound more feminine.[53] Newman said Stanton had thought up many ideas for how he wanted the music to sound, and he generally followed them as he found scoring a partially silent film difficult. Stanton wanted the whole score to be orchestral, but Newman felt limited by this idea especially in scenes aboard the Axiom, and used electronics too.[54]
WALL-E watching a clip from Hello, Dolly!
A live-action clip of the song "It Only Takes a Moment" from Hello, Dolly!, which inspires WALL-E to hold hands with EVE
Stanton originally wanted to juxtapose the opening shots of space with 1930s French swing music, but he saw The Triplets of Belleville (2003) and did not want to appear as if he were copying it. Stanton then thought about the song "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" from Hello, Dolly!, since he had portrayed the sidekick Barnaby Tucker in a 1980 high school production.[55] Stanton found that the song was about two naive young men looking for love, which was similar to WALL-E's own hope for companionship. Jim Reardon suggested WALL-E find the film on video, and Stanton included "It Only Takes a Moment" and the clip of the actors holding hands, because he wanted a visual way to show how WALL-E understands love and conveys it to EVE. Hello Dolly! composer Jerry Herman allowed the songs to be used without knowing what for; when he saw the film, he found its incorporation into the story "genius".[56] Coincidentally, Newman's uncle Lionel worked on Hello, Dolly![7]
Newman travelled to London to compose the end credits song "Down to Earth" with Peter Gabriel, who was one of Stanton's favorite musicians. Afterwards, Newman rescored some of the film to include the song's composition, so it would not sound intrusive when played.[7] Louis Armstrong's rendition of "La Vie en rose" was used for a montage where WALL-E does not get EVE's attention on Earth. The script also specified using Bing Crosby's "Stardust" for when the two robots dance around the Axiom,[9] but Newman asked if he could score the scene himself. A similar switch occurred for the sequence in which WALL-E attempts to wake EVE up through various means; originally, the montage would play with the instrumental version of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head", but Newman wanted to challenge himself and scored an original piece for the sequence.[57]

Themes

This movie is widely recognized as a critique on society. It brings up real issues that the world, and especially densely populated areas, are dealing with today and even more so in the future. Katherine Ellison asserts that “Americans produce nearly 400 million tons of solid waste per year but recycle less than a third of it, according to a recent Columbia University study.” Landfills are filling up so quickly that the UK may run out of landfill space by the year 2017.[58]

Environment and waste

Because WALL-E overtly critiques consumerism, it also critiques Disney's production values and aesthetic, without being too obvious.[6] In the DVD commentary, Stanton said that he has been asked if it was his intention to make a movie about consumerism. His answer was it was not; it was a way to answer the question of how would the Earth get to the state where one robot would be left to continue the cleanup by itself.
In "WALL-E: from environmental adaption to sentimental nostalgia," Robin Murray and Joseph Heuman explain the important theme of nostalgia in this film. Nostalgia is clearly represented by human artifacts, left behind, that WALL-E collects and cherishes, i.e. Zippo lighters, hubcaps, and plastic sporks. These modern items that we use out of necessity, are made sentimental through the lens of the bleak future of Earth. Nostalgia is also expressed through the musical score, as the film opens with a camera shot of outer space that slowly zooms in to a waste filled Earth while playing "Put on Your Sunday Clothes," reflecting on simpler and happier times in human history. This film also expresses nostalgia through the longing of nature and the natural world, as it is the sight and feeling of soil, and the plant brought back to the space ship by EVE, that make the captain decide it is time for humans to move back to Earth. WALL-E expresses nostalgia also, by reflecting on romantic themes of older Disney and silent films.[6]
Stanton describes the theme of the film as "irrational love defeats life's programming":[24]
I realized the point I was trying to push with these two programmed robots was the desire for them to try and figure out what the point of living was ... It took these really irrational acts of love to sort of discover them against how they were built ... I realized that that's a perfect metaphor for real life. We all fall into our habits, our routines and our ruts, consciously or unconsciously to avoid living. To avoid having to do the messy part. To avoid having relationships with other people or dealing with the person next to us. That's why we can all get on our cell phones and not have to deal with one another. I thought, 'That's a perfect amplification of the whole point of the movie.' I wanted to run with science in a way that would sort of logically project that.[24]

Technology

Stanton noted many commentators placed emphasis on the environmental aspect of humanity's complacency in the film, because "that disconnection is going to be the cause, indirectly, of anything that happens in life that's bad for humanity or the planet".[59] Stanton said that by taking away effort to work, the robots also take away humanity's need to put effort into relationships.[43] Christian journalist Rod Dreher saw technology as the complicated villain of the film. The humans' artificial lifestyle on the Axiom has separated them from nature, making them "slaves of both technology and their own base appetites, and have lost what makes them human". Dreher contrasted the hardworking, dirt covered WALL-E with the sleek clean robots on the ship. However, it is the humans and not the robots who make themselves redundant, and during the end credits humans and robots are shown working alongside each other to renew the Earth. "WALL-E is not a Luddite film," he said. "It doesn't demonize technology. It only argues that technology is properly used to help humans cultivate their true nature – that it must be subordinate to human flourishing, and help move that along."[60]

The Axiom and EVE have been compared to Noah's Ark and the dove in that story.

Religion

Stanton, who is a Christian,[12] named EVE after the Biblical character because WALL-E's loneliness reminded him of Adam, before God created his wife.[61] Dreher noted EVE's biblical namesake and saw her directive as an inversion of that story; EVE uses the plant to tell humanity to return to Earth and move away from the "false god" of BnL and the lazy lifestyle it offers. Dreher also noted this departure from classical Christian viewpoints, where Adam is cursed to labor, in that WALL-E argues hard work is what makes humans human. Dreher emphasized the false god parallels to BnL in a scene where a robot teaches infants "B is for Buy n Large, your very best friend", which he compared to modern corporations such as McDonald's creating brand loyalty in children.[60] Megan Basham of World magazine felt the film criticizes the pursuit of leisure, whereas WALL-E in his stewardship learns to truly appreciate God's creation.[12]
During writing, a Pixar employee noted to Jim Reardon that EVE was reminiscent of the dove with the olive branch from the story of Noah's Ark, and the story was reworked with EVE finding a plant to return humanity from its voyage.[62] WALL-E himself has been compared to Prometheus,[28] Sisyphus,[60] and Butades: in an essay discussing WALL-E as representative of the artistic strive of Pixar itself, Hrag Vartanian compared WALL-E to Butades in a scene where the robot expresses his love for EVE by making a sculpture of her from spare parts. "The Ancient Greek tradition associates the birth of art with a Corinthian maiden who longing to preserve her lover’s shadow traces it on the wall before he departed for war. The myth reminds us that art was born out of longing and often means more for the creator than the muse. In the same way Stanton and his Pixar team have told us a deeply personal story about their love of cinema and their vision for animation through the prism of all types of relationships."[63]

Monday, June 29, 2015

Essex Junction of Vermont, USA

Welcome

Welcome to the Village of Essex Junction, in the heart of Chittenden County, Vermont. Our friendly neighborhoods and 19th-century buildings reflect our Vermont village heritage. Our focus on good schools and a vibrant local economy reflect our commitment to building a sustainable community with an excellent quality of life.

Brownell block building, google.com

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron (A Movie to Recommend)

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Avengers Age of Ultron.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Joss Whedon
Produced by Kevin Feige
Written by Joss Whedon
Based on The Avengers
by Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Ben Davis
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release dates
Running time
141 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $279.9 million1
Box office $1.349 billion[2]
Avengers: Age of Ultron is a 2015 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team the Avengers, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2012's The Avengers and the eleventh installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was written and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast that includes Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgård, James Spader, and Samuel L. Jackson. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers must work together to defeat Ultron, a mechanical artificial intelligence bent on human extinction.
The sequel was announced in May 2012, after the successful release of The Avengers. Whedon, the director of the first film, was brought back on board in August and a release date was set. By April 2013, Whedon had completed a draft of the script, and casting began in June with the re-signing of Downey. Second unit filming began in February 2014 in South Africa with principal photography taking place between March and August 2014. The film was primarily shot at Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England, with additional footage filmed in Italy, South Korea, Bangladesh, New York, and various locations around England.
Avengers: Age of Ultron premiered in Los Angeles on April 13, 2015, and was released on May 1, 2015 in North America, in 3D and IMAX 3D. Upon its release, the film received positive reviews and has grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide, making it the second highest-grossing film of 2015 (behind Furious 7) and the fifth highest-grossing film of all time. Two sequels, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2, are scheduled to be released on May 4, 2018, and May 3, 2019, respectively.

Plot

In the Eastern European country of Sokovia, the AvengersTony Stark, Steve Rogers, Thor, Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanoff, and Clint Barton – raid a Hydra outpost led by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who has been experimenting on humans using the scepter previously wielded by Loki. They encounter two of Strucker's experiments – twins Pietro, who has superhuman speed, and Wanda Maximoff, who can manipulate minds and project energy – and apprehend Strucker, while Stark retrieves Loki's scepter.
Stark and Banner discover an artificial intelligence within the scepter's gem, and secretly use it to complete Stark's "Ultron" global defense program. The unexpectedly sentient Ultron, believing he must eradicate humanity to save Earth, eliminates Stark's A.I., J.A.R.V.I.S., and attacks the Avengers at their headquarters. Escaping with the scepter, Ultron uses the resources in Strucker's Sokovia base to upgrade his rudimentary body and build an army of robot drones. Having killed Strucker, he recruits the Maximoffs, who hold Stark responsible for their parents' deaths by his weapons. Together, they go to the base of arms dealer Ulysses Klaue in an African shipyard to obtain Wakandan vibranium. The Avengers pursue them, but Wanda subdues the heroes with haunting visions, causing the Hulk to rampage until Stark stops him with his anti-Hulk armor.2
A worldwide backlash over the resulting destruction, and the fears Wanda's hallucinations incited, send the team into hiding at Barton's safehouse. Thor departs to consult with Dr. Erik Selvig on the meaning of the apocalyptic future he saw in his hallucination, while Romanoff and Banner plan to flee together after realizing a mutual attraction. However, Nick Fury arrives and encourages the team to form a plan to stop Ultron. In Seoul, Ultron forces the team's friend Dr. Helen Cho to use her synthetic-tissue technology, together with vibranium and the scepter's gem, to perfect a new body for him. As Ultron uploads himself into the body, Wanda is able to read his mind; discovering his plan for human extinction, the Maximoffs turn on Ultron. Rogers, Romanoff, and Barton find Ultron and retrieve the synthetic body, but Ultron captures Romanoff.
The Avengers fight amongst themselves when Stark secretly uploads J.A.R.V.I.S. – who is still operational after hiding from Ultron inside the Internet – into the synthetic body. Thor returns to help activate the body, explaining that the gem on its brow – one of the six Infinity Stones, the most powerful objects in existence – was part of his vision. This "Vision" and the Maximoffs accompany the Avengers to Sokovia, where Ultron has used the remaining vibranium to build a machine to lift a large part of the capital city skyward, intending to crash it into the ground to cause global extinction. Banner rescues Romanoff, who awakens the Hulk for the battle. The Avengers fight Ultron's army while Fury arrives in a Helicarrier with Maria Hill, James Rhodes and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to evacuate civilians. Pietro dies when he shields Barton from gunfire, and a vengeful Wanda abandons her post to destroy Ultron's primary body, which allows one of his drones to activate the machine. The city plummets, but Stark and Thor overload the machine and shatter the landmass. In the aftermath, the Hulk, unwilling to endanger Romanoff by being with her, departs in a Quinjet, while the Vision confronts Ultron's last remaining body.
Later, with the Avengers having established a new base run by Fury, Hill, Cho, and Selvig, Thor returns to Asgard to learn more about the forces he suspects have manipulated recent events. As Stark and Barton also leave, Rogers and Romanoff prepare to train new Avengers: Rhodes, the Vision, Sam Wilson, and Wanda.
In a mid-credits scene, Thanos, dissatisfied by the failures of his pawns, dons a gauntlet3 and vows to personally retrieve the Infinity Stones.

Cast

Cast of Avengers: Age of Ultron at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International.
The benefactor of the Avengers,[3][4][5] who is a self-described genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist with electromechanical suits of armor of his own invention.[6] On how his character evolves after the events of Iron Man 3, Downey said, "...it kinda reminds me of like all that stuff particularly as you get a little older or if you have any existential queries whatsoever. It's like why aren't I dealing with that which is going to destroy me any second anyway? And then the armor was kind of an extension of that. And also there was just so many suits, but I think he realizes that tweaking and making all the suits in the world—which is what he has been doing—still didn't work for that thing of his tour of duty that left him a little PTSD. So his focus is more on how can we make it so that there's no problem to begin with. That, you know, there's a bouncer at our planet's rope. That's the big idea."[7]
An Avenger and the crown prince of Asgard, based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name.[8] About Thor's place in the film, Hemsworth said, "Well, Thor stayed on Earth from [Thor: The Dark World]. So he's here. He's part of the team. This is his home for the moment. So the initial threat of attack from Ultron is personal. Thor then begins to see a bigger picture about what this threat could potentially be and it begins to tie into all of our films."[9] Commenting on his portrayal of the character, Hemsworth said, "What becomes a challenge is trying to not repeat the same thing all the time. So you've got to work that bit harder to see what else you can do with the character." He added, "...it was just lightening up a bit. It gave us room to kind of make him a little more grounded and human and have him in some civilian clothes and mixing it up at a party. I want to do those scenes more. It's what I loved about the first [Thor film]. There was an innocence and naïveté to him, which as he matured into the king of the second [Thor film]—or the rightful king—we sort of lost a little bit of that."[10] Hemsworth noted that this is the first MCU film in which he did not work closely with Tom Hiddleston. "I was interested to see what was gonna be his conflict or his motivation, because he was sort of driven by that relationship previously. I love working with Tom, and I think there's always room for more Thor and Loki stuff, but it's nice to do something completely different."[5]
An Avenger and a genius scientist who, because of exposure to gamma radiation, transforms into a monster when enraged or agitated.[11] Ruffalo worked with motion capture performer Andy Serkis' The Imaginarium Studios in preparation for the role.[12] Ruffalo added, "[My role's] even bigger than last time, and it's more complex and it has more layers and a bit more arc. Not only that, but it seems that the motion capture process is becoming a whole lot more agreeable second time around. I'm really tripping on the technology of this motion-capture stuff... now I just completely embrace it and see it as this other exciting place we can go as performers."[13] Describing the relationship between Banner and Hulk in the film, Ruffalo said, "I think there's a whole relationship with Banner and Hulk that needs to be discovered. There's a very cool thing happening: Hulk is as afraid of Banner as Banner is afraid of Hulk." Ruffalo added, "Both of these guys are obviously the same guy, and they have got to come to peace somehow with each other. And I think that this confrontation is building along the lines of this film."[14] While filming in London, Ruffalo said that Whedon still had not given him any of the Hulk's lines.[15] Whedon later explained that he writes the Hulk's dialogue spontaneously, saying, "What makes the Hulk so hard to write is that you're pretending he's a werewolf when he's a superhero. You want it vice versa. You want to see him, Banner doesn't want to see him, but you don't want Banner to be that guy who gets in the way of you seeing him. So the question is, how has he progressed? How can we bring changes on what the Hulk does? And that's not just in the screenplay, that's moment to moment."[16]
The leader of the Avengers[3][5] and a World War II veteran, who was enhanced to the peak of human physicality by an experimental serum and frozen in suspended animation before waking up in the modern world.[17][18] Describing his character's place in the film, Evans said, "He's still looking for a home, probably a metaphorical home. He's always felt comfortable as a soldier. And he likes structure. He works well taking orders. But when that dynamic turned on him, he's now left to depend upon his team, the Avengers. There really is no one above them telling them what to do. They're kind of having to operate independently. So there's a lot of leaning on one another, but there really isn't a kind of clear chain of command. And I think Cap looks for that. I think he's looking to understand where he belongs, not just as a soldier, as Captain America, but as Steve Rogers, as a person."[10] Evans said that he was able to maintain the strength he built up for Captain America: The Winter Soldier by working out up to an hour a day. Evans said, "...you pull the plug about two to three weeks before you wrap. When you see the finish line coming, you are so glad to not have to think about the gym. But we are starting Avengers 2, so over the past month, I have been hitting it pretty hard."[19] Regarding Captain America's fighting style, Evans said, "You just can’t be Jason Bourne. We gotta see this guy do stuff that’s like, yeah, he deserves a spot on this squad. In [Winter Soldier] he’s pinballing off of jets and doing unbelievable things. I don’t wanna take a step back, so we gotta make sure that he’s continuing training. His fight style needs to advance a little bit. I don’t wanna go full Bruce Lee, but there needs to be more than just haymakers and fun kicks. There needs to be a consistent display of strength. Utilize your environment in a way that’s like, 'That’s right, he can pick up a motorcycle with one hand...'"[20]
An Avenger who formerly worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. as a highly trained spy.[21] Producer Kevin Feige stated that more of the character's backstory is explored in the film.[22] Johansson elaborated, "In Avengers 2 we go back... we definitely learn more about Widow's backstory, and we get to find out how she became the person you see. All of these characters have deep, dark pasts, and I think that the past catches up to some of us a little bit."[23] On where the film picks up Widow's story, Johansson said, "At this stage, when you see the Widow, she's—especially in Avengers, these characters all have a past, and hers is a very complex one, where she's realizing—and it's kind of a continuation of [The Winter Soldier]—'I've never made an active choice. I'm a product of other people's imposition.' That's going to catch up with her. That's bound to have a huge effect. There's got to be a result of that realization... You'll see her actively making some choices in her life, for better or worse."[24] A mixture of close-ups, concealing costumes, stunt doubles and visual effects were used to help hide Johansson's pregnancy during filming.[25]
An Avenger and master archer who previously worked as an agent for S.H.I.E.L.D.[26] Whedon said that Hawkeye interacts more with the other characters in the film, as opposed to the first film where the character had been "possessed pretty early by a bad guy and had to walk around all scowly."[27] As the character did not appear in any other of Marvel's Phase Two films, Whedon stated Age of Ultron sheds light on to what the character was doing since the end of The Avengers.[16] About the character, Renner said, "[Hawkeye] is kind of a loner anyway, and he’s a team player only 'cause he sort of has to be. He’s not really a company man. Captain America can be that guy. In [Age of Ultron] you'll understand why [Hawkeye] thinks the way he thinks."[20]
The twin brother of the Scarlet Witch, who can move at superhuman speed.[30] About the character Taylor-Johnson said, "Him [sic] and his sister [Scarlet Witch] have been abandoned by their parents and their father, and they grew up in Eastern Europe defending and looking out for themselves and each other... His sister really is his guidance—emotionally she's the one who looks after him, and vice versa. He's very overprotective physically—he doesn't want anyone touching her." Taylor-Johnson also said that Quicksilver has "real anger frustration" and is easily bored due to a short attention span.[31] Feige stated exploring Quicksilver's relationship with his sister and his backstory growing up in Eastern Europe would help differentiate the character from Evan Peters' version in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).[32] Taylor-Johnson stated that the running style for Quicksilver went through multiple iterations, saying, "The running style we tested early on was just very one-dimensional and boring to look at, but if you try to do free running, like parkour, then that's very much Captain America's style... You have to find your own place in the stunt world."[5] Much of Taylor-Johnson's scenes were filmed outdoors to give "life" to his running, as opposed to running on a treadmill in front of a green screen.[33]
The twin sister of Quicksilver, who can harness magic and engage in hypnosis and telekinesis.[30][34] Olsen said, "The reason she's so special is because she has such a vast amount of knowledge that she's unable to learn how to control it. No one taught her how to control it properly. So it gets the best of her. It's not that she's mentally insane, it's just that she's just overly stimulated. And she can connect to this world and parallel worlds at the same time, and parallel times."[34] Describing her character's mind control powers, Olsen said, "I am able to go into someone's head and they'd never see. I can feel and see what they feel and see. So it's not just me manipulating them. What I love about her is that, in so many superhero films, emotions are kind of negated a bit, but for her everything that someone else could feel—like their weakest moments—she physically goes through that same experience with them, which is pretty cool."[35] Olsen drew on her relationship with her older brother and her sisters to prepare for the role,[34] as well as looking to the comics for inspiration.[5] Olsen revealed that Whedon was inspired by dancers as a way to visually represent how the character moves. As such, Olsen mostly trained with a dancer in lieu of traditional stunt training.[36] Olsen is signed for this film and another.[33]
Bettany, who voiced J.A.R.V.I.S., Stark's A.I. companion in previous films, was cast again as the Vision,[37][38] an android created by Ultron.[39] About the casting, Bettany said, "I got a call on a Friday night from Joss going 'Do you want to be the Vision?' I can't explain the amount of luck that went into that. And frankly for ages, because I understood once you were one character in a Marvel series and never another, I understood that was my thing. I'd be J.A.R.V.I.S. and get my bag of cash and go."[40] On what intrigued him about the Vision, Bettany said, "The thing that appealed to me is that this sort of nascent creature being born, being both omnipotent and totally naive, the sort of danger of that and complex nature of a thing being born that is that powerful and that created in a second and the choices he makes morally are really complex and interesting. They've really managed to maintain all of that".[40] Bettany also stated that the Vision feels paternal and protective to a number of people in the film, particularly Scarlet Witch, and has the ability to change his density. Bettany did wire work for the part.[40] Whedon stated he wanted to include the Vision before he signed onto the first film, explaining, "I said, 'Well, I don’t know if I'm right for this or if I want it or you want me, but in the second one, the villain has Ultron and he has to create the Vision, and then, that has to be Paul Bettany.' It took me three years before I could tell Paul that I'd had that conversation, but after that, I stopped. I was like, 'That would be cool if there’s you have Ultron and you have Vision and Paul played him.'"[16]
A former high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who now works for Stark.[41][42][43] Describing Hill's situation in the film, Smulders said, "I think, you know, after [Captain America: The Winter Soldier]...you're sort of left a bit shell shocked, and I think we're coming into this movie where we don't really know who's a good guy and who's a bad guy and she's trying to figure out that throughout this film." She added, "She's not getting any sleep. She's doing all the work. She doesn't have the kind of manpower that she had in S.H.I.E.L.D."[44] Elaborating on this, Smulders later said, "She’s working for Tony Stark, yes, but they shot so many locations all over the world and this team is out doing all sorts of things. So I like to think that Maria is at headquarters, trying to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. And working for Tony Stark is a whole other ballgame. She doesn’t have S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel to back her up at her disposal, so it’s an entirely different vibe for her."[45]
A pararescueman trained by the military in aerial combat using a specially designed wing pack and a friend of Steve Rogers.[46] Discussing the relationship between Wilson and Rogers, Mackie said, "With Falcon and Cap, what's so great is there's a mutual respect. There's a soldier respect. What's great about Age of Ultron and [Captain America: Civil War] is you get to see their relationship grow."[47]
An artificial intelligence repurposed by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner for a pilot peace program that is overwhelmed with a god complex, and now desires to pacify the Earth by eradicating humanity.[39][51][52][53][54][55] Director Joss Whedon stated that Spader was his "first and only choice" for the role, because of his "hypnotic voice that can be eerily calm and compelling" while also being very human and humorous.[56] Feige clarified, "We'll be capturing his face and his body to create a whole performance... We did not hire James Spader to do a robot voice."[57] Extensive scans were taken of Spader's head and body in preparation for the role.[58] About the character Whedon said, "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."[59] Whedon added that Ultron is "not a creature of logic—he's a robot who's genuinely disturbed. We're finding out what makes him menacing and at the same time endearing and funny and strange and unexpected, and everything a robot never is."[60] Whedon compared Ultron to Frankenstein's monster, saying, "It's our new Frankenstein myth [...] We create something in our own image and the thing turns on us. It has that pain of 'Well, why was I made? I want to kill Daddy.'"[61] Spader called the character "self-absorbed" and added, "I think he sees the Avengers as being part of a problem, a more comprehensive problem in the world. He sees the world from a very strange, [biblical] point of view because he's brand new, he's very young... He's immature, and yet has knowledge of comprehensive, broad history and precedent, and he has created in a very short period of time a rather skewed worldview."[62]
The former director of S.H.I.E.L.D. who originally recruited the Avengers and continues to be a mentor and leader for the team.[54][63] Jackson described the role as a cameo, saying, "I'm just kind of passing by there ... Because, it's another one of those 'people who have powers fighting people who have powers'. That's why I didn't get to New York in The Avengers. There's not a lot I could do except shoot a gun."[64]
Thomas Kretschmann and Henry Goodman return as Baron Wolfgang von Strucker and Dr. List,[65][66] Hydra leaders who specialize in human experimentation, advanced robotics, and artificial intelligence.[54] Linda Cardellini portrays Laura Barton, Hawkeye's wife.[67][68] Claudia Kim portrays Helen Cho, a world-renowned geneticist who helps the Avengers from her office in Seoul,[54][69] and Andy Serkis portrays Ulysses Klaue, a black-market arms dealer, smuggler and gangster, who is a former acquaintance of Stark’s from his weapons-dealing days.[29][54][70] Julie Delpy appears as Madame B., who mentored Black Widow into becoming an assassin.[71] Kerry Condon voices the artificial intelligence F.R.I.D.A.Y., Stark's replacement for J.A.R.V.I.S.[72] Josh Brolin makes an uncredited appearance during the mid-credits scene as Thanos.[73] Avengers co-creator Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance in the film as a military veteran who attends the Avengers' victory party.[74]