Paul Bettany is one of the few remaining actors in the MCU who has been there since the beginning. In fact, he’s set a record, not only for the first actor to appear over the span of three different decades in the franchise, but also the only actor to appear in the first movie of each phase so far. He’s lucky enough to have played two characters to achieve this – first, as the AI voice known as JARVIS, who then gets integrated into the body known as The Vision.
Ever since Avengers: Age of Ultron, Bettany has been physically present in the movies, and has had his fair share of ups and downs. Many fans can agree that his appearance in Avengers: Infinity War was a little lacking, as it seemed they sidelined Vision’s character a lot for the plot. However, as the MCU continues, and Bettany shows no signs of ever wanting to leave his rolethere’s a plethora of new opportunities for him, including rumors that he may make an appearance again in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. While we wait to see what’s in store for Bettany and Vision in the coming future, take a look at some of Vision’s best moments in the MCU.
Avengers: Age of Ultron, Proving Himself Worthy
Vision’s origins in the MCU are full of strife: the Avengers could not agree on whether to bring Vision to life in the first place. He was made by Ultron after all, and was supposed to be his new body. There was no guarantee bringing him online away from Ultron would not still blow up in their faces. This caused a small fight as Iron Man tried to upload JARVIS to the body and Captain America tried to stop it, ultimately ending when Thor gave the machine a supercharge and finished creating Vision.
Though he quickly proves to not be hostile, some Avengers still mistrust him – that is, until he picks up Thor’s hammer with ease, a feat none of them had been able to accomplish earlier in the movie. This moment not only shows that they can trust Vision, but is one of the defining moments of his origin, brilliantly brought to life by Bettany.
Avengers: Age of Ultron, Fighting Ultron
It was almost guaranteed when Vision joined the Avengers’ side that he was going to end up facing down Ultron. Not only does he play an important role in the fight as he burns Ultron’s connection from the internet away, but he gets the chance to lighten the mood several times throughout the final battle. As Thor distracts Ultron, he keeps making up more long-winded things to say until Vision has picked up his hammer and gets a surprise hit on Ultron. This moment also reinforces the fact that he is on the Avengers’ side. Then, when facing the last of the Ultron bots to be sure they are completely wiped out, Bettany delivers one of Vision’s most iconic lines: “Well, I was just born yesterday.”
Captain America: Civil War, Trying to Keep Wanda in the Compound
Since the talk of the Accords began after Wanda accidentally blew up a building in the beginning of Captain America: Civil War, it comes at no surprise that Tony Stark would want to keep her out of the public eye for a while. However, when Captain America needs help, he recruits a few other heroes, and Hawkeye comes to the rescue to bring her along. The only problem is, Vision was assigned to the task of keeping her at the compound – a task that he is not willing to back away from.
Even when Hawkeye manages to temporarily freeze him, Vision fights through the current holding him back to destroy the one side and fight against Hawkeye trying to leave with Wanda. That is, until Wanda incapacitates him with her powers, and then throws him straight down several floors of solid concrete. He might not win this fight, but it’s still a great moment nonetheless, and one that Bettany acts through well.
WandaVision, Magic Talent Show
In the first few episodes of WandaVision, as the plot is only just starting to reveal itself, there are some genuinely tender moments between Wanda and Vision before he begins to suspect anything about their lives is wrong. While trying to fit in with a group of guys that live in the neighborhood he accepts a piece of gum, though he does not eat it, but accidentally swallows it. While that’s no issue for humans, as a robot, it sticks to his gears and slows them down, effectively making him act drunk.
They do not have time to sort it out before they have to go onstage for the talent show, however, and Wanda is forced to work on the spot as she attempts to keep everyone from thinking he is nothing but an ordinary human. It’s arguably one of the funniest moments in the show, all thanks to Bettany for doing a wonderful job acting as a drunk robot.
WandaVision, Flashbacks to the Compound
We are treated to a series of Wanda’s flashbacks in one of the later episodes, going through old memories and getting a better understanding of her backstory and what led her to the current moment. These include a moment alone in her room at the compound shortly after her brother’s death. She’s not alone for long, however, as Vision comes to check in on her, and they share a quiet moment together.
Though Vision has not been around for very long, he still tries to comfort her the best he can, and is even interested in watching the sitcom she’s watching so that she’s not alone. This moment is the beginnings of their romance, even if Vision does not really understand or know that yet. Still, without Bettany there to help deliver Vision’s quirky lines as he adjusts to his life, it would not be the same.
WandaVision, Final Goodbye
In the end, when Wanda knows she can not hold the town hostage anymore, she has to do the hard thing and say goodbye to this Vision she had created. It’s an emotional moment, as she had built this whole life up with him in the town since the beginning of her spell, as she was struggling to cope with her death. Though he now knows he is not the real thing, he still has his own thoughts, so he comes to the living room to have one last moment with her before the spell lifts.
It’s an emotional, heartfelt goodbye, and one that the viewers can feel too as, in his own way, he tells Wanda he does not believe this is the last time they will see each other. Bettany really brings out all the stops in his final moment on the screen, showing us that even after discovering the truth, his feelings for Wanda have never wavered.
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