"The Avengers" villain
Tom Hiddleston (Loki) happily passes the torch to his successor,
James Spader, who will play Ultron in the
written and directed sequel, "Avengers: Age of Ultron." Marvel Entertainment announced Thursday (Aug. 29)
Spader will play the title character
in the highly anticipated sequel to the 2012 blockbuster. And Hiddleston quickly joined the already-buzzing Twitterverse to send a message to
told Zap2it at Disney's recent D23 Expo
that the "Avengers" franchise should move on without Loki for now. "I truly think that 'The Avengers' needs a new villain," Hiddleston says. "They defeated me already. I think it'll be more fun as a film to see them do something new. So, for the film, I think it's the best, ultimately. And I agree with Joss."
Marvel announced "Age of Ultron" at San Diego Comic-Con in July, and tongues immediately began wagging about Whedon leaving Hiddleston's Loki behind. But the writer-director
says he had been pitching Ultron
for "The Avengers 2" villain since before he began working on "The Avengers." "I was like, 'I don't know if I want to do this, but for the second one, you should totally do Ultron,'" Whedon says. "Because he's been a thorn in [The Avengers'] side as much as any other character over the years and particularly back in my history."
Hiddleston, who reprises the character of Loki in Marvel's upcoming
"Thor: The Dark World"
he hasn't ruled out returning to the franchise down the line. "It all depends on so many other factors -- where the other characters go," he says. "I've had a wonderful time playing Loki, and if that's the end, it's the end. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to be so big, with so many new characters -- I mean, it already is enormous, but -- I've had a great, great run. So, I guess we'll see."
"Avengers: Age of Ultron" is due in theaters May 1, 2015.