A new rumor hinted at the return of MCU Phase 2 villain Ultron at some point in the upcoming Marvel Studios slate.
The rogue AI, originally portrayed by James Spader in Avengers: Age of Ultron has not been seen in the mainline MCU films since then, only making a brief appearance in the first season of Disney+'s What If...?.
The Avengers 2 antagonist recently made his live-action MCU return, although that was by way of an experience on the Disney Wish cruise ship, having nothing to do with the Earth-616 Marvel Studios story.
So just counting his mainline live-action appearances, it has been more than seven years since Spader's robotic villain has graced the silver screen. But if a new rumor is true, all that could change very quickly, as Ultron is supposedly primed for another lap around the Marvel Studios track.
Ultron is Ready for Round Two
According to a new rumor, Ultron may be making an MCU comeback in the not-too-distant future.
In the report published by The Cosmic Circus, sources have told the outlet that the rogue AI was not destroyed at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron and small shards of the program still remain "dormant" in the universe.
However, when James Spader's Marvel villain actually makes a comeback remains to be seen.
The outlet speculated two places in which Ultron could make his presence known once again. The first was the streaming-series-turned-big-screen-blockbuster Armor Wars, which could make sense seeing as Ultron was a creation of one, Tony Stark, and this film is set to be all about the legacy left behind Robert Downey Jr.'s Marvel character.
When Will Ultron Return?
If, in fact, Ultron is primed for an MCU comeback, it will be fascinating to see what project Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and co. have picked out for him to make himself known.
Of the two titles pitched above (Armor Wars and Vision Quest), both seem like candidates worthy of the character. Neither storyline uses Ultron in their comic book counterparts, but Marvel Studios could take some creative liberties to make it happen.
If the character were to come back, surely he would do so in a villainous role, and with neither Armor Wars nor Vision Quest having confirmed their main antagonist at this point, Ultron could slot into either nicely.
Vision Quest probably makes the most sense, seeing as Paul Bettany's MCU android is a perfected version of the Ultron AI program. If there are rogue pieces of the Age of Ultron villain sitting dormant somewhere, there is a good chance they could be within Vision.
Armor Wars doesn't have an official release date yet, and Vision Quest has yet to be officially announced by Marvel Studios.