Casting Friday: Ultra-Spader, Huisman of Thrones, and More

Each Friday, I will summarize the important casting news or rumors from the preceding week, giving you a preview of who’ll be playing who in the future!


Less than a week after the earth-shattering casting news for the Man of Steel sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron is not to be outdone. Announced yesterday, Ultron, the titular villain of the film, will be played by James Spader, a veteran screen actor.

The actor’s career goes all the way back to Hughes’ classic Pretty in Pink, but more recently he’d be better known as Robert California in The Office, his work on Boston Legal, or Lincoln

Spader seems to be a well-liked actor, as the response online has been largely positive, in sharp contrast to last weeks news. It isn’t like Spader looks particularly like Ultron. In fact, considering the villain is a robot, there doesn’t seem to be any obvious reason he would look like James Spader. Perhaps the idea is to use motion capture, or just the actor’s voice? No further details to clarify this point were released. If this shows us anything, it’s that, obviously, the internet is far more open to having their villains redefined than the heroes. I suppose it stands to reason.

Joss Whedon recently spoke about the character of Ultron, making it clear Spader will have work to do aside from “standard robot stuff”:

“I knew right away what I wanted to do with him. He’s always trying to destroy the Avengers, goddamn it, he’s got a bee in his bonnet. He’s not a happy guy, which means he’s an interesting guy. He’s got pain. And the way that manifests is not going to be standard robot stuff. So we’ll take away some of those powers because at some point everybody becomes magic, and I already have someone [Scarlet Witch] who’s a witch.”

Huisman Naharis

michiel-huismanGame of Thrones fans must be sitting on the edge of their seats as the fourth season of the show is being filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Earlier this week, it was revealed that Dutch actor Michiel Huisman will be appearing in the series.

It was later confirmed that Huisman would actually be replacing an existing cast member – Ed Skrein, who played Daario Naharis in the previous season.

There has been no word on why Ed Skrein is leaving the show.

Huisman recently appeared in World War Z, the series Treme, and the recently passed-on The Sixth Gun pilot, based on the Oni comic book.

Bernal Desierto

220px-GaelGarciaBernalLFFJonas Cuaron, son of director Alfonso Cuaron (Children of MenGravity), is making his English-language feature debut in Desierto, about illegal immigrants being pursued by an American that had taken the border patrol in his own hands.

Gael Garcia Bernal is set to star in the film as one of the immigrants leads.

While I am not familiar with Jonas Cuaron’s previous work, Bernal is a fantastic actor, and Alfonso Cuaron is one of the greatest currently working directors, so with him producing, I have faith in this being a potentially impressive movie.


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