When news broke that the official trailer for the Avengers 2: Age of Ultron would air with the next episode of Agents of SHIELD, everyone knew that it was only a matter of time before it was leaked. That's exactly what happened on Thursday, and Marvel reacted in the smartest way possible, by releasing an official HD version of the trailer, and even making a small joke at its own expense, as you can see in the tweet below:
Dammit, Hydra.-- Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) October 22, 2014
The trailer looks interesting - it's much moodier than the trailer for the first Avengers, and there are some moments from the video that really caught our eye. Even though Ultron is a commanding presence, it's the all-too short fight scene between Iron Man and Hulk that is making the fans go wow. Take a look at the trailer below, and then let's talk about how this connects with what we know about the next Captain America movie.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been divided into "phases", and phase one was all about establishing the universe. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America all set up the terms of the shared universe and established the characters, before Marvel gave us the big climax with The Avengers.
Phase two of the movies has been generally darker in tone - Iron Man 3 dealt with Tony Stark's PTSD, while Thor: The Dark World killed off a lot of major characters and made the ridiculously cheerful Thor cope with loss. As for Captain America: Winter Soldier, the movie shook up the film universe and took away Shield as a powerful institutional authority - something that had been very important to Captain America/ Steve Rogers.
Phase two will end with the Age of Ultron, but we've already gotten a few hints about what to expect from the next Captain America movie. Last week it was reported that Iron Man will be a big part of the next Captain America movie, to kick off the Civil War storyline.
Civil War was a big comic book "event" storyline that involved a massive crossover with heroes fighting heroes and the occasional villains in there wondering what the heck was going on, and from what we can see in the Age of Ultron trailer, it's doing a solid job of setting that up.
When you look at the trailer that was released, you can see that the Avengers are back with Nick Fury and it seems like they're on the offensive against Hydra now. From what we've seen so far, Tony Stark creates the robot Ultron to help them in this fight, but something clearly goes wrong, as you can see in the shot where it looms over everyone and growls, "there are no strings on me."
Incidentally, if you were wondering about the music in the trailer, it's a creepy, slowed-down version of this song from Disney's Pinnochio.
Phase three looks like it's going to lead to the end of the Avengers as we know them - this ties in with many of the actors, particularly Chris Evans (Captain America) talking about how they are fatigued with the roles and want to take a break - and the formation of a fresh team with new Avengers.
That's where Civil War comes in - a superhero team gets involved in a fight that leads to a lot of civilian casualties, while the Hulk/ Bruce Banner goes on a rampage in LA. The US government decides that these living weapons of mass destruction need to make their identities public, and be registered with the government.
The superheroes fall into two camps - those who support this idea, and the ones who stand against it, and pretty quickly, the two groups end up in all-out war. What is interesting is the people who are backing each side - the US government side is being backed by Tony Stark, while Captain America is on the anti-registration side. This event tears up the Avengers as we know them, and leads to Captain America forming a new superhero team called the Secret Avengers. The aftermath of this event is the death of Captain America, and Bucky Barnes - the Winter Soldier - taking up Captain America's mantle.
Coming back to the trailer for Age of Ultron, there are some interesting moments that show how all this is lining up. In the video, you can see Captain America's shield split in two.
This shield is made using an alloy called Vibranium, and it's basically supposed to be indestructible. In the first Avengers movie, we saw it take a hit from Thor's hammer Mjolnir - and here it's broken, probably by Ultron, Iron Man's creation.
This ties in with the fight we do see between Iron Man and the Hulk. We get a look at the famous Hulkbuster armour, created by Tony Stark specifically to fight the Hulk if he ever goes out of control. It's a really cool clip that shows us how powerful the Hulk really is - Stark's new armour looks like a tank, and the Hulk is seen holding his own against it.
But it also tells us something about Iron Man - this is someone who is always thinking of the angles, and even if you're his friend, he's thinking of how to take you down if need be. In the movies, we see Tony Stark bond with Bruce Banner in the Avengers, and Iron Man 3 is framed as a flashback where Stark is telling Banner what happened with the Mandarin and Extremis. And yet, even though they're friends and they're bonding, Stark has built an Iron Man suit to take out the Hulk if needed.
And he's probably thought about how to take out Captain America as well - the fact that the shield was shattered wasn't just symbolic, it also shows us that Ultron can break the vibranium. This is almost certainly something that Stark has thought of, should he need to fight Captain America.
It's hard to say how Marvel's phase three will end. It might focus on the Infinity Gauntlet and Thanos, as teased by the end of the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, but based on the rumours and what we've seen, Civil Wars seems more likely. And if that's the case, then it might be time to say our goodbyes to Steve Rogers. Because that broken shield from the Age of Ultron trailer makes us believe that Iron Man already has a plan in place to take out Captain America.