10:30 pm EDT, April 11, 2015

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ director and cast answer our questions

Joss Whedon, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, and more!

Ever since the midnight showing of Iron Man when Nick Fury walked out of the shadows and introduced Tony Stark to a much larger universe, fans have hung on every word produced by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What will happen next? How will one film interconnect to the others? How long will it take before someone asks Robert Downey Jr. a question? All this and more was answered this afternoon at the Walt Disney studios in Burbank, in the same theater where members of the press gathered the night before to stare in awe at Avengers: Age of Ultron.

We were lucky enough to be in attendance at the time. Yes. You heard us correctly.

We have seen Avengers: Age of Ultron.

We’re still very extremely and heavily embargoed until much later in the month, so we can’t post a review, or any spoilers, or any plot points from the film.

However, since the cast and director have met with the press and since most of their quotes don’t spoil TOO much from the film (we’ll warn you if they even get close… you do know that there’s a crazy killer robot involved, right?), we figure that it’s nothing but goodwill toward Disney/Marvel to let you know what we saw and heard at the press conference.

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Paul Bettany discusses the difference between playing the live-action character Vision and the voice-only character of JARVIS

“The main difference is that I have to show up,” said Bettany, causing a ruffle of laughter throughout the crowd. “The great thing is being able to work with all these creative and talented people, however, I now also have to show up at junkets, so everything’s a double edged sword.”

Bringing Vision and Ultron to life, and how they embody Tony Stark’s nature

“They do embody a little bit of him,” said Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon. “But they’re also their own people. I do see them as two sides of the same coin. I think there’s something beautiful about the fact that they see the same thing, and react to it with very different emotions.”

The biggest challenges Whedon experienced putting together the story and shooting the film

“There’s like 47 of these people,” said director Joss Whedon, gesturing to the cast members around him and inciting laughter from the audience. “And I really didn’t think that through. And I regret very much doing this at all.”

If he was kidding, that would’ve been the moment he would’ve smiled and winked at the audience. He didn’t smile and wink, he just looked exhausted.

“It’s just making sure that everyone’s got their moment and everyone’s got their through-line and that it’s connected. At some point during the editing process, I could not have told you who they were, who I was, or what movie I was making, but I think it came together. It’s all about making these guys look good, which takes a long time.”

How Joss Whedon began creating the sequel to one of the most successful films of all time

This was a question that we were lucky enough to ask Joss Whedon ourselves. Everyone has heard the story of how Joss Whedon went to a pub in London and filled a notebook with potential Age of Ultron ideas before even agreeing to do the movie.

We asked him what he wrote in that notebook, and what drew him back to doing the sequel when he could have easily stepped away.

“The thing that drew me back to the movie was ‘what little moments are there between these characters have I not gotten to do yet?’ ‘What conversations have they not had, what haven’t I shown?’ It’s never the big picture stuff like ‘we’ll have an army of robots!’ though that’s cool too!”

We were imagining that his notebook was just full of drawings of the Hulk tearing robots in half, but it seems that he was mostly excited about writing the smaller, more emotional moments between the members of the team.

“It’s always just ‘where do they live? How do I get inside their hearts? What’s funny about them?’ Those are he moments that – I write just reams and reams thinking about the tiniest part – and that’s really the heart of it.”

Finally, someone steps up and asks Robert Downey Jr. a question about joining Age of Ultron

“I must be mellowing with age, but I’m going to say this very clearly,” said Robert Downey Jr., spreading his hands across the table in front of him. “The next time that I’m not asked the first question, I will f***ing walk out.”

“I read Joss’s script, and I said ‘I think this is great!'” said Downey Jr, and according to Marvel President Kevin Feige, that isn’t something that Robert says very often.

Although if we’re not mistaken, he’s said the same thing about every film that he’s been in so far, Marvel and otherwise. He’s not kidding about this one though.

Jeremy Renner on the much bigger emphasis placed on Hawkeye in Age of Ultron

“Wait, have we seen the movie? I feel like I’m gonna be shot!” said Renner, looking nervously around the room.

“Yeah, I speak in this movie, which is awesome, I’m part of the team, which is awesome.”

Aside from having a much larger chunk of things to do in this sequel, we find out a surprising amount about what makes Clint Barton tick when he’s not out Avenger-ing

“I sat down with Kevin and Joss back in the day about why I wanted to play Hawkeye. I understood Hawkeye in the sense that he’s a human, and even outside the skillset, there are [many things about him] that are endearing.”

Where Scarlett Johansson sees the character of Black Widow

“At the end of Avengers 2, I think Widow is… she let her guard down, she was hoping for something,” said Scarlett Johansson, tiptoeing around her words to ensure that she doesn’t let any spoilers slip. “She’s ready to accept that her calling is a greater one, and that’s not something she’s thrilled about, but that’s what’s heroic about her.”

She also mentioned that it wasn’t particularly easy to play the world’s most lethal spy while pregnant.

Mark Ruffalo on the distinction between the Hulk and Bruce Banner

“I was helped out by the fact that I’m green,” said Ruffalo. “That helped out the distinction of the characters. I can’t take full credit for that.”

Joss Whedon on the name of the Hulkbuster’s delivery system, V.E.R.O.N.I.C.A.

“I called it Veronica because Bruce used to be in love with a woman named Betty,” said Whedon. “And the opposite of Betty is Veronica.”

Surprise! We get to see the new ‘Ant-Man’ trailer in 3-D!

We were specifically instructed to stay in our seats as the cast and crew to Avengers: Age of Ultron shuffled out of the front of the theater.

The reason was kept a secret until Kevin Feige took to the stage to tell us that we would be the first people to see the brand new theatrical trailer for the upcoming Ant-Man

It opened much the same as we’ve seen before, but with a few more jokes, a lot more action, and an actual look at how the visual humor in this thing is going to work.

Also, we say this completely 100 percent non-sponsored by the 3D companies out to make billions off of you, but the Ant-O-Vision in Ant-Man will make the 3D glasses far worth the investment.

The full trailer will be online Monday, so you can see it then, or in front of screenings of Avengers: Age of Ultron as it hits theaters internationally throughout the month.

Avengers: Age of Ultron lands in U.S. theaters on May 1, 2015

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