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Andy Serkis to Play Unknown Role in Avengers: Age of Ultron

By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)

No one is more famous for performance capture (aka, motion capture, or ‘MoCap’) than Andy Serkis. Ever since he played Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy he’s showed up playing key roles as an animated character in a live action film. From the titular King Kong to Captain Haddock in Tintin to Caesar in the upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Serkis rules CG characters.

This is why Marvel brought him on to work with Mark Ruffalo to coach him through playing The Hulk in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Ruffalo has previously said that his role as Bruce Banner/The Hulk will be greatly expanded in the next installment of The Avengers. Serkis spoke with Variety and states that this is why he was brought on as a consultant through his performance capture studio The Imaginarium:

Performance capture was used on the previous "Hulk," but not to the same extent Mark is using it now. There are tools and ways of working with an actor that makes them feel that they own the character. And a character the size of the Hulk needs ownership, which Mark has now.

This is where stuff gets really interesting. When asked about working on Age of Ultron, he let slip that he had a part in the film:

The Imaginarium is the performance capture consultant, and I'm playing a role. On 'The Avengers,' I've been working closely with Mark Ruffalo.

Hmmmm… What role could he possibly be playing? He hasn’t really stated that he will be doing any motion capture performance in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but it’s hard to see how Joss Whedon wouldn’t capitalize on having him there in the studio.

The other possibility is a small role in Avengers, as a nod to the audience. While he’s definitely known for his motion performance work in The Hobbit, Godzilla, and the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, he has had many live roles including playing the cook Lumpy in King Kong and Tesla’s assistant in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige.

Or… spoilers to follow!

Here’s something to chew on, we still haven’t heard whether James Spader, who is playing bad robot Ultron in the next film, or Paul Bettany, who voiced J.A.R.V.I.S. in the Iron Man films and first Avengers, and who is all but confirmed to become The Vision in the next Avengers, may be done with motion capture. Why bring in Serkis to only coach Mark Ruffalo? Maybe it’s because you also would like to have him doing the body performance for other characters in the film??Or maybe he’ll just be having a drink with Stan Lee in his inevitable cameo scene.

Unless he’s helping with MoCap for the characters of Ultron and/or The Vision. It should be noted spy photos revealed someone wearing a partial Ultron suit, but it’s safe to assume Ultron may also be brought to life via performance capture.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron premieres in theaters on May 1, 2015.

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