Although he already revealed in June that Tom Hiddleston will not be reprising his role as Loki in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Joss Whedon spoke today with EW and went into further detail about why the May 1, 2015 release requires a new villain, going on to suggest that future The Avengers films will also avoid repeating antagonists.
“Every movie is going to be a different villain,” Whedon says. “Loki’s awesome, and he is awesome in 'Thor 2,' but 'The Avengers' is a different thing. I worked with Tom more than any other actor [in the last film], because he was the only villain and there were six heroes. And he was as great as anyone I’ve ever worked with, and I get why people loved the character. But it’s an Avengers movie.”
Whedon goes on to discuss his creative infamy for killing off fan-favorite characters at wholly unexpected moments.
“Um… maybe?" he responds when asked if he thinks any of Marvel's heroes could bite the bullet in the near future. "But I’d have to have a really good reason, a really great sequence for [Marvel executives] to go, ‘We’ll cut off a potential franchise, that’s fine!’ They know, as any good studio does, that without some stakes, some real danger, how involved can we get? We don’t just rule it out across the board, but neither is the mission statement ‘Who can we kill?’ We try to build the story organically and go, ‘How hard can we make it on these people?’”
Although Robert Downey Jr. is, at the moment, the only full confirmed cast member for The Avengers: Age of Ultron, expect that to change in the very near future and check back for updates as they become available.