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Scarlett Johansson pregnancy affects 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' filming schedule

Scarlett Johansson in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"
Scarlett Johansson in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"
Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures

Scarlett Johansson is pregnant and due to give birth to her first child in August 2014. Her pregnancy has changed the filming schedule for "Avengers: Age of Ultron," according to an E! News report on March 3, 2014.

Johansson plays Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in the movie. It's a role she also played in other Marvel Studios movies: "Iron Man 2," "The Avengers" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."

Johansson is scheduled to begin filming "Avengers: Age of Ultron" on April 5, 2014.

"They're going to fast-track her scenes," an unnamed "insider" told E! News.

Before Johansson begins filming "Avengers: Age of Ultron," she is promoting her movies "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "Under the Skin."

Johansson and her fiancé Romain Dauriac (a French journalist) began dating in 2012 and announced their engagement in 2013. They have not yet set a wedding date. She was previously married to actor Ryan Reynolds from 2008 to 2011.

On July 20, 2013, Marvel Studios revealed at Comic-Con International in San Diego that the second "Avengers" movie is called "Avengers: Age of Ultron." Most of the stars of the original "Avengers" movie are in the sequel, including Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Chris Evans as Captain America. And it's highly likely that a superhero from the Marvel universe will be added to "Avengers: Age of Ultron."

Thomas Kretschmann has been cast as villain Baron Wolfgang von Strucker in Marvel Studios' "Avengers: Age of Ultron," according to an article published by The Hollywood Reporter on Jan. 15, 2014.

Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Baron Wolfgang von Strucker is "an antagonist for both Captain America (Chris Evans) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). In the comics, the man was a Nazi officer who becomes one of the heads of HYDRA, a terrorist organization."

Kretschmann's other recent film credits include the 2013 movies "Stalingrad," "Open Grave" and "Dracula 3D." He plays Abraham Van Helsing in the NBC series "Dracula." NBC has not announced yet if "Dracula" has been renewed for a second season, but industry analysts say that the show is likely to cancelled due to low ratings.

His movies scheduled for release in 2014 are "F2014, "Plastic" and the TV-movie "The Saint."

As previously reported, Elizabeth Olsen has been cast as Scarlet Witch (also known as Wanda Maximoff) in "Avengers: Age of Ultron," which is set for a U.S./Canadian release date on May 1, 2015. (The movie's release dates in other countries may vary.) Filming of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" begins in early 2014.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson (who co-stars with Olsen in the 2014 "Godzilla" movie) confirmed in an October 2013 interview with Total Film that he has the role of Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch's brother, in "Avengers: Age of Ultron." (Evan Peters plays the Quicksilver character in the "X-Men" movies.)

On Aug. 29, 2013, Marvel Studios announced that James Spader is playing the villain Ultron. Fans' reactions to the news were mostly positive.

"The Avengers" (which is available on demand, DVD, Blu-ray and digital download) was the highest-grossing movie of 2012. The movie sold $623 million in tickets in the U.S. and Canada and a total of $1.5 billion in tickets worldwide.

Joss Whedon, who directed and wrote the first "Avengers" movie, is back on board as director/writer for "Avengers: Age of Ultron." Details about the "Ultron" plot are being kept a secret, but Whedon commented to Entertainment Weekly (before the announcement was made about Spader getting the Ultron role) about how he envisions the Ultron character: "I knew right away what I wanted to do with him. He’s always trying to destroy the Avengers, goddamn it, he’s got a bee in his bonnet. He’s not a happy guy, which means he’s an interesting guy. He’s got pain.

"And the way that manifests is not going to be standard robot stuff. So we’ll take away some of those powers because at some point everybody becomes magic, and I already have someone [a new character, Scarlet Witch] who’s a witch ... As a character I love [Ultron], because he’s so pissed off.”

Given the way that Whedon crafts larger-than-life, non-human characters (such as The Hulk) in his movies, Spader will likely have to do motion-capture work, rather than donning a clunky robot costume.

Other stars of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" are to be announced.

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