Earth's Mightiest Heroes Grace the Cover of Empire Magazine; Director Joss Whedon Talks 'Age of Ultron' & His MCU Future

avengers-92With Avengers: Age of Ultron is hitting theaters in just three months (fanboy scream!), expect to see a ton of AU coverage in the coming weeks continuing all the way to its release. Kicking that off is Empire Magazine, as their latest issue is highlighting the highly, highly anticipated superhero sequel. You can see the covers, new images, and some words from director Joss Whedon after the jump.

Empire Magazine’s standard March issue has the Avengers posing for the cover. You can see Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), as well as Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) all assembled and ready to go to war. Along with the standard issue came the subscriber limited edition cover, which features James Spader’s big bad Ultron front and center.

'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Empire Cover 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Empire Cover

On the inside, the issue features a 20-page spread of the movie. Here are the images featured in that spread. I will have these images posted as soon as they are officially released in higher quality.

Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch Jeremy Renner & Joss Whedon Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow Chris Evans as Captain America Chris Hemsworth as Thor Chris Evans as Captain America

The 20-page spread is without a doubt full of juicy stuff from interviews with the crew and cast, and while most of that will be released in the coming days when the issue is released, there are some comments featured in the article that come from director Joss Whedon.

Below you can see Whedon talking about the big baddie Ultron and what his future role inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be:

“I’ve been working on a lot of Ultron scenes, so I’m very anti-Avengers right now.  You can’t write someone if you don’t love them and I’ve come to the conclusion that Ultron is right.  The Avengers need to die.”

“I couldn’t imagine doing this again. It’s enormously hard, and it (will) be, by (the time I would make Avengers 3 & 4, a good five years since I created anything that was completely my own. So it’s very doubtful that I would take on the two-part Infinity War movie that would eat up the next four years of my life. I obviously still want to be a part of the Marvel Universe – I love these guys – but it ain’t easy. This year has been more like running three shows than any year of my life. It is bonkers.”

This is what most of us have been expecting for some time. Whedon has put his stamp on the MCU, and alongside Kevin Feige, he has guided this universe to where it is now. So will Age of Ultron be his final time in the MCU directing chair? More than likely, but that definitely doesn’t mean that he will stop writing, producing, or having any kind of say in future MCU movies.

Plus this makes sense. After the incredible job the Russo Brothers did on Captain America: The Winter Soldier and following the announcement that they will return for Civil War, it’s been rumored for months now that they will be the ones to take over the team-up movie reigns. Other than the Avengers movies, they are behind the two biggest movies Marvel has put together, in The Winter Soldier and Civil War.

Again, it’s all rumor and nothing has been confirmed. While the Russo’s now know the insides and outs of this universe like Whedon, I wouldn’t count out the director of a little movie called Guardians of the Galaxy. James Gunn showed why he, as would the Russo’s, would be one damn good choice to helm Infinity War – Part I and Infinity War – Part II. With the expectation that the Guardians will be teaming up with the Avengers to take on the Mad Titan Thanos, who better than the one who knows the Guardians best? Just a thought.

Until the day when the age of ultron arrives, what do you think of the images above?

Avengers: Age of Ultron will be released on May 1st, 2015. Directed by Joss Whedon starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlet Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard, James Spader, and Samuel L. Jackson.

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