Andy Serkis On AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Role, 'Educating' Mark Ruffalo And Joss Whedon
Is he playing Thanos? The motion-capture performance maestro explains how he helped Mark Ruffalo feel comfortable as the Incredible Hulk, and comments on his role in The Avengers sequel
Last week, while making the rounds for his acclaimed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes performance, Andy Serkis addressed his on and off-screen contribution to next year's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Before confirming at least one character he
just might not be playing in the anticipated Marvel sequel, Serkis explained to The Daily Beast how he and his studio consulted on and ultimately improved Mark Ruffalo's Incredible Hulk. “The difference for Mark [Ruffalo] this time around is that the Imaginarium, which is our performance-capture studio in London that’s providing all the performance capture for the Avengers movie, is providing education,” said the mocap guru. “Previously, he would’ve walked onto a set and you’ve got Thor and all the other characters in their costumes looking magnificent, and then you’d have Mark in a grey motion-capture suit playing this enormous character, so it’s about giving the actor the right atmosphere and credibility for the performance, which we did in a number of ways. We had to educate the director that the actor owns the role, and what you get on the set is what you should be aiming to put into your cut as the final performance—with the rendering coming later on.”
Andy continued, “Also, we worked with Mark in really grounding him and playing with the digital avatar before going on set so he could see himself as the Hulk before going onscreen, and we put weights and inhibitors on him to give him the sense that his arms were these big, giant wrecking balls, and so that his biceps wouldn’t intersect with his body. We equipped him. We also gave him a sound system and pitch-modulated his voice so you could hear the enormous Hulk roar coming out of these speakers, so the crew would go, 'Jesus! That’s Hulk on set!' It gives Mark the sense of feeling better, and if he feels better, then he’ll be more comfortable in the performance.” About his mystery Age of Ultron role, Serkis was asked if he's playing Thanos, who's rumored to somehow appear in Joss Whedon's superhero reassembly, and voiced by Josh Brolin. “Um…I’d have to deny that character at this point,” he replied. “But I am playing a character. I was really thrilled that Whedon asked me to be involved. It’s fantastic. I’ve had a ball working with them, both as performance capture consultant through the Imaginarium, but also being asked to be in it. I can’t say anything more!” What do you think?
In regards to who Andy Serkis is playing in Avengers: Age of Ultron, it was reported previously that we can also rule out titular villain Ultron, the Vision, and any other character that has already been announced. However, it's worth noting that IMDB has filled a couple intriguing background roles in the movie: an “Asgardian” that isn't Chris Hemsworth's God of Thunder, and a “Klaue Mercenary.” The latter role is most interesting given that it indicates the Nazi commander Colonel Fritz Klaue, from Marvel Comics, will appear in the movie. The villainous character not only has loose ties to Baron von Strucker (who is played by Andy Serkis' King Kong co-star Thomas Kretschmann), but his son Ulysses Klaw is a primary archenemy to Black Panther and his African nation of Wakanda, which is also said to pop up in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Now, what do you think? Only time will tell!
Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron stars Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Cobie Smulders Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, with Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, and James Spader. The film is set for release on May 1, 2015.
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