Paul Bettany becomes Ultron in this what if …? Fan art

Ultron is terrifying enough as an all-powerful villain, but what if he’s played by Paul Bettany himself?


Thanks to the last episodes of Marvel’s What if…? on Disney +, the world slowly started looking for more Ultron content for the first time since 2 Avengers movie. Or, at the very least, Disney is really good at making the world believe they want more Ultron content. Maybe they heard a few fans say how cool it would be to bring the character back and decided to make him the focal point of the series. Remember that the mouse has ears everywhere.

As these things go, as soon as a character gains popularity, tradition has it that that character gets a new batch of fan art. It happened for the new one Venom movie, this happens whenever someone’s sneeze sounds vaguely like “Sephiroth”, and now it’s come to the end of a Marvel villain’s blossoming, courtesy of the artist Rahal Nejraoui. Hey, fan artists love villains. It’s just a fact of life.

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However, unlike typical forms of fan art which are admittedly extremely impressive in themselves, Nejraoui decided to take a ride in the mashup machine to see what things might look like if Paul Bettany himself took on the role of Ultron. Given that Vision’s android body, played by Bettany, looks like the actor (funny how these things work), it makes sense that a live version of Ultron in that body would look the same as well. The result is quite frightening and impressive.

Regardless of the criticisms fans may have had regarding Ultron’s inclusion in the series, including wondering why his shenanigans did not alert TVA, it is clear that megalomaniac artificial intelligence has certainly had an impact when ‘he was revealed as the big bad of What if…? It was a classic Marvel bait and switch, pulling the rug under fans who may have suspected that the Jeffrey Wright Watcher would end up filling the role. But seeing the likeness of Bettany adorned with the massive armor of Ultron and the 5 Infinity Stones, it’s almost a relief that this is the character they went with, at least from an aesthetic point of view.

Nejraoui’s work combines the intimidating factor of Ultron with the gentle, compassionate air of Bettany’s Vision. It may not have been intentional, given that Bettany is clearly capable of playing a true villain as seen in Solo: A Star Wars Story. But when he’s in that hybrid of makeup and CGI enhancements that turns him into a Wanda boo, it’s hard to see anything other than the big softie that makes a nasty paprikash.

Based on the end of WandaVision, fans will definitely see a version of Bettany’s Vision at some point in the future. But the odds are a little less likely for the kind of crossover seen in Nejraoui’s beautiful play. So in this case, it makes the artwork all the more valuable.

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Source: Rahal Nejraoui / Instagram


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