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One of Marvel’s best villains might return in Armor Wars

Published Mar 8th, 2023 7:04PM EST
Nebula and War Machine in Avengers: Endgame
Image: Marvel Studios

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Armor Wars was originally supposed to be a Disney Plus TV show connected directly to the events in Secret Invasion. But Marvel decided to turn the series into a movie, giving Don Cheadle his first big MCU film. War-Machine will be the film’s central character, but Armor Wars could also bring back one of the MCU’s best villains that Marvel largely wasted. Big spoilers might follow, so don’t proceed if you love MCU surprises.

What is Armor Wars about?

Marvel producer Nate Moore said recently “there were some great ideas that were coming out for that [Armor Wars] show, but… felt too big for that show… there are ways then to leverage the ideas of that movie and affect other movies down the line.”

Moore explained why Marvel turned the project into a full-fledged movie but did not disclose any spoilers. Nor do we know how the series ties to Secret Invasion. But Rhodie will appear in the upcoming Disney Plus, as we already saw Cheadle’s character in the trailers.

In the comics, Armor Wars focused on technology Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) devised that fell into the hands of criminals. The MCU’s Iron Man is dead, but we have already caught glimpses of his tech. Spider-Man (Tom Holland) was still using Stark’s Spidey suit in Far From Home in No Way Home.

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in Avengers: Infinity War.
Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in Avengers: Infinity War. Image source: Marvel Studios

More recently, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) had Ant-Man suit tech in Quantumania, similar to what you’d expect from Tony Stark.

If superheroes use some of Stark’s tech, criminals would certainly want a piece of it. Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) is an example of that in Far From Home.

This brings us to one of this week’s big Marvel rumors that claims a big villain is coming back from the dead in Armor Wars.

Ultron’s return to the MCU

Marvel felt it had to kill Ultron (James Spader) in Avengers 2, and the film’s plot demanded it. There was really no way to leave any of Ultron’s drones alive at the end of Age of Ultron. It would have impacted the rest of the MCU. But Ultron doesn’t need a physical body. Some theories said Ultron might be hiding in the MCU, waiting to reemerge.

It’s unclear if that’s what will happen in Armor Wars. Maybe some bad guys will actually steal the code that allowed stark and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) to create Ultron. This could be how Ultron resurrects, although it’s just speculation.

Ultron (James Spader) in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Ultron (James Spader) in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Image source: Marvel Studios

But the mods of the MarvelStudiosSpoilers subreddit learned from trusted sources that James Spader is coming back as Ultron in Armor Wars. We don’t have additional details about Ultron’s return.

As with any Marvel leak, we can’t confirm that James Spader will reprise his MCU role. But this isn’t the first time we hear about Ultron returning to the MCU. The difference is that the new rumor provides an actual title for Ultron’s return.

The same Reddit post also contains purported details about Marvel’s delay plans for the MCU. These come from unverified sources that claim Armor Wars could release on May 2nd, 2025, the current release date of Kang Dynasty.

That’s when we might see Ultron in a live-action MCU movie, assuming the leak is accurate.

What If...? Episode 7 Ultron
Infinity Ultron appears in the shocking What If…? episode 7 cliffhanger. Image source: Marvel Studios

The character has tremendous potential in the MCU. Just watch the What If…? TV series where Marvel gave us an alternate variant of Ultron that’s incredibly dangerous.

Also, let’s not forget that the humanoid body Ultron wanted is still roaming around as White Vision (Paul Bettany). The character will get a standalone Vision Quest TV show, which the leak also mentions. It’s unclear whether White Vision and Ultron will ever meet. But there are plenty of potential routes Marvel can take with James Spader’s character.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.