Vision (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

fictional character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Vision
Marvel Cinematic Universe character
Paul Bettany as Vision.jpg
Paul Bettany as Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
First appearanceAvengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Based on
Adapted byJoss Whedon
Portrayed byPaul Bettany
Voiced byRoss Marquand (Ultron-Vision; What If...?)
In-universe information
Full nameThe Vision
NicknameVis
SpeciesSynthezoid[1]
OccupationAvenger
AffiliationAvengers
WeaponMind Stone
Significant otherWanda Maximoff[a]
ChildrenBilly and Tommy Maximoff[b]
OriginMidtown Manhattan, New York, United States
Creators

The Vision is a fictional character portrayed by Paul Bettany in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) media franchise, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Vision is an android (or "synthezoid") created by the robotic villain Ultron to serve as his organic body. However, he is recovered by the Avengers and brought to sentience by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, who upload the core software of Stark's AI, J.A.R.V.I.S., into the vibranium body constructed by Ultron, with energy provided by Thor. Vision subsequently joins the Avengers and develops a romantic relationship with his teammate, Wanda Maximoff. Most of Vision's powers stem from the Mind Stone in his forehead, which is also what keeps him alive.

As of 2021, Vision is a central figure in the MCU, having been featured in three films, as well as having a lead role in the miniseries WandaVision (2021), and appearing in the animated series What If...? (2021) as alternate versions.

Conception and characterization

A character named The Vision debuted in a short comic story in Marvel Mystery Comics #13 (Nov. 1940) as an alien law enforcement officer also known as Aarkus, continuing as a regular feature in that superhero anthology through issue #48 (Oct. 1943). In the late 1960s, editor Stan Lee and writer Roy Thomas decided to add a new team member to the superhero-team series The Avengers. Thomas wanted to bring back the Golden Age alien Vision but Lee was set on introducing an android member. Thomas ultimately compromised by using a new, android Vision.[2] The second Vision first appeared in The Avengers #57 (Oct. 1968). Thomas wanted the character to be white as befitting his ghostly name, but printing limitations of the time would have rendered him colorless, with un-inked paper where his skin should be. He settled on red as he did not want Vision to be green like the Hulk or blue like the Atlanteans.[3] The character has been compared with Spock from Star Trek, but Thomas said that he was barely aware of the TV series at the time.[4] He acknowledged being influenced by the Adam Link character by Otto Binder, one of the first robots treated as a sympathetic character rather than as a mechanical tool.[4]

In The Avengers #75 (April 1970), the Scarlet Witch is reintroduced to the team and soon becomes a love interest for the Vision. Thomas recounted, "I felt that a romance of some sort would help the character development in The Avengers, and the Vision was a prime candidate because he appeared only in that mag... as did Wanda, for that matter. So they became a pair, for just such practical considerations. It would also, I felt, add to the development I was doing on the Vision's attempting to become ‘human.’"[2]

Characterization

Paul Bettany portrays Vision

Prior to the introduction of Vision in the MCU, Paul Bettany had voiced J.A.R.V.I.S., Tony Stark's A.I. companion in previous films. Bettany admitted that he had little idea of what the role was, even as he recorded it, simply doing it as a favor for Jon Favreau.[5] He was cast again as the Vision,[6][7] an android created by Ultron.[8] Bettany stated that he was surprised when Whedon asked him if he wanted to be the Vision because once an actor has been cast as a particular character in the MCU, they usually are not cast as another.[9] On what intrigued him about the Vision, Bettany said, "The thing that appealed to me is that this sort of nascent creature being born, being both omnipotent and totally naive, the sort of danger of that and complex nature of a thing being born that is that powerful and that created in a second and the choices he makes morally are really complex and interesting. They've really managed to maintain all of that".[9] Bettany also stated that the Vision feels paternal and protective to a number of people in the film, particularly Wanda Maximoff, and has the ability to change his density. Bettany did wire work for the part.[9] Whedon stated he wanted to include the Vision in a second Avengers film before he signed onto the first film.[10] Vision's on-screen appearance was designed by Trent Claus and his team at Lola VFX, based on concepts by Ryan Meinerding.[11] Bettany's make-up, which consisted of a mix of face paint and prosthetics, took two hours to apply with make-up artists Jeremy Woodhead and Nik Williams citing the correct hue of the Vision's skin as the hardest thing to figure out.[12] Ultimately, however, the prosthetics and tracking dots were removed digitally and replaced with CG.[11]

Discussing the development of the character in Captain America: Civil War, Bettany noted that because the Vision was only created in the previous film, Age of Ultron, "you see my character get born... He must be both omnipotent and yet totally naive at the same time. And experiencing the world in real time and his place in it. Is he going to be a force of good or a force of evil?"[13] Bettany also said he was interested in exploring "what it means to be human and what love is" with the character, as "The only way one can guarantee one's loyalty is love."[14] This is exhibited in the connection Vision begins to form with Wanda Maximoff, with Bettany commenting, "They both have these new burgeoning powers that they don't understand ... I think he's worried that they're both dangerous. So he feels this real connection with her."[15] As the Vision has the ability to create a projected disguise, he chooses to dress similarly to Howard Stark's attache, Edwin Jarvis.[16] One review notes that "Vision is an android who gained consciousness and an affinity for love all at the same time, and so the latter is of the utmost importance to him".[17]

In WandaVision, Bettany portrays a new version of the character created by Wanda within her reality from the part of the Mind Stone that lives in her, who is the embodiment of her sadness, hope, and love.[18][19] Given this, Bettany described this Vision as "decent and honorable". He was influenced by the performances of Dick Van Dyke and Hugh Laurie for this version.[20] Bettany also plays the original character, referred to as "The Vision",[21] who is reassembled and reactivated by S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient Weapon Observation and Response Division). That version has an all-white appearance similar to when the comic book character was resurrected with an all-white body and without his memories and emotions.[22] Bettany differentiated the two versions by portraying The Vision as familiar and intimidating at the same time.[21]

Fictional character biography

Creation and joining the Avengers

In 2015, J.A.R.V.I.S. is apparently destroyed by Ultron, but it is later revealed that he actually distributed his consciousness throughout the Internet, allowing his security protocols to delay Ultron's attempt to access Earth's nuclear launch codes long enough for Tony Stark to work out what had happened. The Avengers capture a synthetic body created by Ultron for himself, powered by the Mind Stone. Stark and Bruce Banner upload J.A.R.V.I.S. as the core software for that body. After a brief fight with other Avengers, who disagree with this effort, Thor uses his lightning to power its completion, creating The Vision. Thor explains that the gem on its brow, one of the six Infinity Stones, the most powerful objects in existence, was part of a vision that he had. Having gained consciousness, The Vision says that he is not a creature of Ultron, but is also no longer J.A.R.V.I.S.; Vision states that he "is on the side of life" and sides with the Avengers against Ultron. He fights the Ultron Sentries during the final battle in Sokovia, rescues Wanda Maximoff from the collapsing center of the city, and destroys Ultron himself. Notably, to this point, The Vision is the only non-Asgardian to be able to lift Thor's hammer Mjolnir; an earlier scene establishes that this signifies that The Vision is pure of heart and therefore "worthy" of lifting the hammer. In the end, after Stark, Clint Barton, Thor, and Banner leave, Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff lead a new roster of Avengers consisting of Wanda Maximoff, Sam Wilson, James Rhodes, and The Vision. [23]

Avengers Civil War

In 2016, The Vision sides with Stark during the titular conflict and signs the Sokovia Accords. He reasons this by remarking that the number of supernatural or highly dangerous events have increased since Stark's admitting of his secret identity and that government oversight will assist the team. This includes confining Wanda to the Avengers Compound. He attempts to make Wanda feel comfortable, cooking her paprikash, and starts to form a romantic relationship. Later, he overpowers Barton who tries to break Wanda out, until she interferes, telekinetically pushing Vision beneath the Compound. He is unharmed and flies to Germany to stop Rogers's team. During the fight, he aims to disable Wilson, but accidentally shoots down and cripples Rhodes, as he was distracted while tending to Wanda. Following this, he returns to the Compound.

Infinity War

In 2018, The Vision is now in a romantic relationship with Wanda in Scotland while using his powers to maintain a human disguise. One night, they are ambushed by Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight, members of the Children of Thanos, and Vision is wounded by Glaive. They are rescued by Rogers, Wilson, and Romanoff and return to the Avengers Headquarters meeting with Rhodes and Banner. Rogers tells them that he knows a place that would have resources to remove the Mind Stone without killing The Vision. The Vision accompanies the team to Wakanda, where he is operated on by Shuri. Unfortunately, the Outriders attack which prompts Wanda to intervene in the battle, leaving Shuri defenseless from Glaive, who infiltrates inside. The Vision ends up fighting Glaive and falls into the forest below, and ends up killing Glaive with his own weapon. After Thanos arrives in Wakanda, The Vision convinces Wanda to destroy the Mind Stone, which she does, at the cost of his life. However, Thanos uses the Time Stone to reverse the Mind Stone's destruction, allowing him to rip the Mind Stone out of The Vision's head, and causing him to become deactivated.[24][25]

Life in Westview

By 2023, S.W.O.R.D. recovered the deactivated body of The Vision from Wakanda and runs experiments on his body at S.W.O.R.D Headquarters. Wanda, desiring to give The Vision a burial, goes to the S.W.O.R.D Headquarters only to see him being experimented on, and is told that The Vision is governmental property now and cannot be released to her.

After leaving the Headquarters, Wanda goes to Westview, New Jersey, and in her grief accidentally creates a false reality (the Hex), also creating a fake "Vision" (through their shared connection to the Mind Stone). In the false reality, she and “Vision” are married and live in a suburban neighborhood. Vision has a job at a company called Computational Services Inc., where he amazes his co-workers with his speed but is unsure what his company actually does. He invites his boss over for dinner, during which the boss chokes on his food and Vision has to use his abilities to save him. Later, Vision is shown to behave as if he is intoxicated after accidentally swallowing Big Red chewing gum, which Wanda is able to fix. After Wanda quickly progresses in her pregnancy with their twin children, Vision exhibits super speed, and momentarily appears to realize that something is not right about their surroundings.[26] He then begins to question Wanda's role in Westview, using his powers to read the mind of one of his co-workers and discovering that person to be under mind-control. This leads to an argument between Vision and Wanda. Further suspicious, Vision investigates on his own, going to the edge of Westview and finds residents frozen in place outside their homes, including Agnes, who pretends to be under mind-control. He finds the hexagonal barrier and tries to leave, but begins to disintegrate. He tells the S.W.O.R.D agents and Darcy Lewis that the Westview people need help. Vision is then restored after Wanda expands the false reality. After waking up, Vision finds Darcy in Westview and takes her out of a trance. She tells him about his past life with the Avengers and that Wanda really does love him. Upon hearing this, he leaves to go find Wanda.

Later, at a S.W.O.R.D. base outside of Westview, acting director Tyler Hayward uses Wanda's powers from a drone to reactivate The Vision, now with a white body. The Vision goes into Westview under Hayward's orders, and finds Wanda, but not remembering her, attacks her, but is stopped by her created "Vision". They fight, with neither gaining the upper hand, until The Vision states that "Vision" must be destroyed, to which "Vision" responds that he is not the real Vision but only a conditional Vision. They discuss the paradox of the Ship of Theseus, and mutually agree that both of them, in a state of being and not being, are the true Vision. However, "Vision" restores The Vision's true memories as an Avenger and his love for Wanda, causing him to realize he is the real Vision, after which he flies away in order to process everything.

Later, "Vision" learns that he is a memory of Wanda that was created through the Mind Stone, and says his final goodbyes before he fades from existence when Wanda removes the Hex.

Alternate versions

Two alternate versions of Vision appear in the animated series, What If...?, with Bettany reprising his role as the normal Vision, and Ross Marquand voicing the Ultron-controlled Vision.

Zombie outbreak

In an alternate 2018, after a quantum virus is unleashed and infects Wanda Maximoff, turning her into a zombie, Vision keeps her contained at Camp Lehigh, New Jersey. There, he experiments with the Mind Stone to find a cure. He manages to cure Scott Lang, whom he keeps alive as a severed head in a jar, but is unable to cure Wanda due to her magic powers, leading Vision to kidnap T'Challa and feed parts of his body to her to keep her alive. Eventually, after the surviving members of the Avengers and their allies arrive at the base, Vision hands over the Mind Stone to Bruce Banner, killing himself in the process.

Ultron's vessel

In an alternate 2015, Ultron successfully transfers his consciousness into Vision's body, and goes on to kill most of the Avengers and eliminate all life in the universe after obtaining the other five Inifinity Stones from Thanos. After learning about the Watcher and the existence of other realities, this Ultron travels to the Nexus of All Realties, from where he has access to every timeline in the Multiverse, intending to conquer each of them. However, he is ultimately foiled by the Watcher and the Guardians of the Multiverse, who manage to upload Arnim Zola's mind into his body, allowing Zola to delete his consciousness. Although Zola, now controlling Vision's body, tries to fight Erik Killmonger for control of the Infinity Stones, they are both frozen in a pocket dimension by the Watcher and Doctor Strange Supreme, the latter of whom then agrees to guard them for the rest of eternity.

Appearance and special effects

A review of the character for The Hollywood Reporter notes: "The comic book Vision employs a garish green-and-yellow costume, matched with a bright red face — a color scheme that may be a little over-the-top for the more subtly-hued Marvel Cinematic Universe — but even so, the mixture of purple, blue and grey is an unexpected, and unexpectedly bold, choice for Paul Bettany's character".[27]

In terms of fashion while maintaining a civilian appearance, Vision attempts to emulate classic human style, including wearing an ascot tie.[28][29]

When Vision is reactivated by S.W.O.R.D., his entire body is white and he has light blue eyes.[30]

Reception

In 2016, Bettany was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Avengers: Age of Ultron.[31] A review of the 2021 television series, WandaVision states that "Olsen and Bettany's characters were often treated like benchwarmers on an all-star team in the Avengers movies. Here, they really shine".[32] The review further finds that Bettany "slides easily into the role of the devoted, kinda square, goofball husband", and praises his physical comedy skills.[32]

For his 2021 appearance in WandaVision, Bettany was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.[33]

Notes

  1. ^ A magically constructed version of Vision is married to Wanda in WandaVision.
  2. ^ Magically constructed by Wanda in WandaVision.

References

  1. ^ Raymond, Nicholas (January 27, 2021). "The MCU Finally Gets Vision's Name Right". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on January 27, 2021. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Walker, Karen (December 2010). "Shattered Dreams: Vision and the Scarlet Witch". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (45): 59–65.
  3. ^ "Marvel Legend Reveals What Stan Lee Initially "Hated" About 'Age of Ultron' Breakout". Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Marcus Errico (May 6, 2015). "The Secret Origins of Vision and Ultron: An Oral History". Yahoo. Archived from the original on May 26, 2015. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  5. ^ Huver, Scott (May 16, 2008). "Paul Bettany on Voicing Iron Man's Jarvis". Superhero Hype. Archived from the original on December 25, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2008.
  6. ^ Ritman, Alex (December 16, 2014). "Dubai Film Fest: Paul Bettany Talks 'Avengers 2' and Watching Jennifer Connelly Inject Herself". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 16, 2014. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
  7. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 6, 2014). "Paul Bettany to Play the Vision in Marvel's 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'". Variety. Archived from the original on February 7, 2014. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  8. ^ "'Avengers 2′ Story Details: Ultron & Vision's MCU Origins Clarified". Screen Rant. April 9, 2014. Archived from the original on April 9, 2015. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  9. ^ a b c Starnes, Joshua (July 26, 2014). "Comic-Con Interview: Paul Bettany on Playing The Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron". Superhero Hype!. Archived from the original on July 28, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  10. ^ Weintraub, Steve (December 17, 2014). "Joss Whedon Talks Hesitation to Return, New Additions to the Team, Collaborating with Marvel, and More on the Set of 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'". Collider.com. Archived from the original on December 17, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  11. ^ a b "What it takes to make Vision's face". befores & afters. March 25, 2021. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  12. ^ Nazzaro, Joe (August 6, 2015). "Creating 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Vision Make-up". Make-Up Artist Magazine. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  13. ^ Santos, Mari-An (September 19, 2015). "Paul Bettany tells Filipinos: "You've all seen me naked. Therefore, you have me at a disadvantage."". Philippine Entertainment Portal. Archived from the original on September 21, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  14. ^ Radish, Christina (November 12, 2015). "Paul Bettany on Directing, 'Shelter', 'Captain America: Civil War', Anthony Mackie, and More". Collider. Archived from the original on November 15, 2015. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  15. ^ Ross, Dalton (May 9, 2016). "Civil War: Paul Bettany on how Vision's love for Scarlet Witch led to [SPOILER]". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on May 10, 2016. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  16. ^ "'Captain America: Civil War' Official Bios, Costume Upgrades and Hi-Res Behind-The-Scenes Photos". Stitch Kingdom. April 11, 2016. Archived from the original on April 12, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  17. ^ Gruttadaro, Andrew; Halliwell, Kate (May 23, 2018). "A Salute to Paul Bettany, the Most Versatile British Guy in Hollywood". The Ringer. Archived from the original on November 9, 2020. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  18. ^ Travers, Ben (February 26, 2021). "'WandaVision' Review: The Ghost of Grief's Past Ushers in the Series' Best Episode Yet — Spoilers". IndieWire. Archived from the original on February 27, 2021. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  19. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 5, 2021). "'WandaVision' "The Series Finale" Recap: What Now For Scarlet Witch, Vision & The Kids?". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 10, 2021. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  20. ^ Radish, Christina (January 11, 2021). "How 'WandaVision' Was Made: Cast and Crew on Iconic TV Influences, Big Swings, and More". Collider. Archived from the original on January 12, 2021. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  21. ^ a b Paige, Rachel (March 5, 2021). "'WandaVision': Paul Bettany Explains What It Was Like to Play Two Visions". Marvel.com. Archived from the original on March 6, 2021. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  22. ^ O'Keefe, Meghan (February 26, 2021). "'WandaVision' Post-Credits Scene Explained: Who Is White Vision?". Decider. Archived from the original on February 27, 2021. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  23. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 6, 2014). "Paul Bettany to Play the Vision in Marvel's 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'". Variety. Archived from the original on February 7, 2014. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  24. ^ Simpson, George (September 26, 2016). "Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange CONFIRMED for Avengers: Infinity War". Daily Express. Archived from the original on September 26, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  25. ^ Breznican, Anthony (March 8, 2018). "Behind the scenes of Avengers: Infinity War as new heroes unite — and others will end - page 3". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on March 8, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  26. ^ Vejvoda, Jim (January 22, 2021). "Is Vision Dead in WandaVision?". IGN. Archived from the original on January 23, 2021. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  27. ^ McMillan, Graeme (January 23, 2015). "Avengers: Age of Ultron's' Vision Finally Revealed Via Funko Toyline". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 16, 2019. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  28. ^ Buchanan, Kyle (May 5, 2016). "What Do Superheroes Wear In Off-Hours? Captain America: Civil War's Costume Designer Explains". New York. Archived from the original on May 6, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  29. ^ "So Thats Why Vision's Wearing Those Clothes In Captain America: Civil War". Cinema Blend. May 6, 2016. Archived from the original on February 29, 2020. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  30. ^ Ortiz, Andi (March 8, 2021). "'WandaVision': What Exactly Happened to the White Vision?". The Wrap.
  31. ^ "Saturn Award nominations on YouTube". Saturn Awards. February 24, 2016. Archived from the original on April 11, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2021. (At 4:24).
  32. ^ a b Chaney, Jen (January 14, 2021). "Marvel's WandaVision Is a Time-Traveling Delight". Vulture.com. Archived from the original on January 20, 2021. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  33. ^ Bosselman, Haley; Moreau, Jordan; Shanfeld, Ethan (July 13, 2021). "Emmys 2021: Complete Nominations List". Variety.

External links

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