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Avengers: Age of Ultron could have ended with a much bigger brawl

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Jun 22, 2018, 10:30 PM EDT

Avengers: Age of Ultron is one of the more divisive installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the 2015 Joss Whedon-directed movie does have plenty of fans and lots of elements to recommend it, somehow the film just didn't work for a lot of viewers in the same way that The Avengers did back in 2012.

One of the aspects of the film that didn't blow people away was the ending: As the Avengers battle a horde of Ultron drones, the big bad android himself (voiced impeccably by James Spader) lifts the entire city of Sokovia into the sky, planning to drop it back down to Earth asteroid-style and create a global cataclysm that will wipe out the human race.

While the plan is ambitious, it also seems a bit unwieldy, and the final battle was way too reminiscent of the ending of the first movie, in which Earth's Mightiest Heroes had to battle an army of rather unmemorable Chitauri in the air and on the ground in another beleaguered city (New York).

According to concept artist Phil Saunders, however, there was another idea for the ending of Age of Ultron that sounds like it could have been way more impressive. Here's Saunders -- who's worked on a bunch of Marvel films -- writing on his personal blog:

This concept of a "Mega Ultron" composed of thousands of Ultron bots was briefly considered for the climax of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Ultimately (and I think for the best) it was rejected, likely because as cool an image as it is it doesn't make a great deal of tactical sense over an overwhelming swarm of bots, and probably would have taken more bots than would have been realistic for Ultron to produce! The concept was cut before I was half-way through the image, but I was having so much fun with it I decided to complete it on my own time, so I guess it you could call it "fan art."

So instead of all those drones, we could have one massive Mega-Ultron composed of all those Ultron clones linking themselves together into one hell of a jumbo villain. While we appreciate Saunders' explanation of why it was eventually scuttled, we can't help but imagine an Age of Ultron climax in which Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Vision, and the rest are buzzing like annoying little gnats around this gigantic kaiju-like creation (with, no doubt, Spader's voice booming out of it across the landscape like an insane god).

You can check out more of Saunders' art at his blog, where he's posted impressive production work from movies like Captain America: Civil War, Iron Man, Tron: Legacy, and more. And while you peruse that, ponder whether you think you might have walked out of Avengers: Age of Ultron a lot more satisfied if the Avengers had fought off one super-sized Ultron instead of a few hundred smaller ones.

(via io9)