You don’t get in a fistfight with the Hulk without some protection, and you don’t get more prepared than Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark. In rare production footage from the upcoming Avengers sequel, RadioTimes.com caught a glimpse of the bulky suit of armour Robert Downey Jr will use to fight the angry green giant.
Known as the ‘Hulkbuster’ in the comics, it looks like Stark’s normal red and gold armour after hitting the gym, and is almost the size of the Hulk himself. Where his normal suit is sleek as a missile, this is bruising like a tank. It’s the iPad to the original’s iPhone, Frasier to the original’s Niles. There’s no word on why the two heroes are fighting, but the Hulk doesn’t need much reason to get in a scrap. You can see some concept art of the fight above: it actually looks better here than the very unfinished footage we saw.
Also sighted were new brother sister duo Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Scarlet has mysterious reality warping powers (in the footage this mostly involved making some blocks float around) while Quicksilver can run really, really fast (although without the special effects, it was more of a light jog). The Quicksilver character also featured in the recent X-Men: Days of Future Past, played by Evan Peters. Although both have a shock of white hair, there is otherwise no link between the two. Due to the complicated film rights to the character, the Quicksilver in Avengers will not be a mutant, and there will be no connection between the two franchises.
Scarlet Witch was shown fighting alongside Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner, the guy with the bow and arrow from the first film) on a ruined Italian street, but earlier in the reel both she and her brother were locked in fancy Perspex prison cells. Could this be a case of bad guys turning good? Hawkeye knows something about that.
But where are all these new heroes and their toys going to live? Why in Avengers Towers of course. Designed by Tony Stark out of the ruins of his New York penthouse, this has all mod cons: floor to ceiling windows, twin laboratories for Stark and Bruce Banner, and parking for supersonic jets. It’s reminiscent of the SHIELD helicarrier in terms of construction, with lots of shiny metal pillars, but that much real estate in downtown Manhattan must cost even more than the apartment in Friends. Maybe Tony rents his spare room to the Fantastic Four.
Not that the heroes will be spending much time at home. Whereas the first film mostly took place in New York, the Avengers will be fighting the villainous robot Ultron and his army of drones in countries as far apart as Italy, South Korea and South Africa.
The Avengers footage, which Marvel executive Kevin Feige warned might never be shown again, was tagged to a preview of new sci-fi Guardians of the Galaxy. The scene featured an ultra-violent raccoon organising a prison break, to a soundtrack of Hooked on a Feeling. It was funny, pacey and, oddly enough, inspired confidence that Disney (the owners of Marvel) could make some really fantastic Star Wars films. But did it have Iron Man punching the Hulk in the face? No it did not. You will have to wait until next year for that particular pleasure.
Guardians of the Galaxy is released in UK cinemas 31 July