Movies Without Pity
James Spader’s Creepiest Performances Before <i>The Avengers: Age of Ultron</i>

When you stop and think about it, Marvel's announcement that James Spader will be playing Joss Whedon's latest Big Bad, the ass-kicking robot Ulton, in 2015's sure-to-be top-grossing movie The Avengers: Age of Ultron... despite what those Jarvis conspiracy theorists would have you believe. No, what's really surprising is that it's taken Spader this long to play a comic-book villain. The dude has been a grade-A onscreen creep since the late '80s, when movies like Less Than Zero pushed him onto a bad boy path that most recently led to his starring role as a Hannibal Lecter-style mentor on NBC's action-packed fall series The Blacklist. Considering his resume, he's the ideal choice to put Iron Man & Co. through their paces. Here are the future Ultron's five creepiest movie roles to date.

John and Rick Wesford
Film: Jack's Back
Story Blurb: Exactly 100 years after the infamous Jack the Ripper murders terrorized London, the world's most notorious serial killer strikes again here in America. A virtuous doctor (Spader) investigates the case, as does his n'er-do-well twin brother (Spader again).
Creep Factor: Moderate. Spader is actually supposed to be playing the good guy(s) here, but his intense dedication to tracking down the reincarnated Ripper constantly keeps you questioning the stability of his sanity.

Graham Dalton
Film: sex, lies and videotape
Story Blurb: An uptight housewife (Andie McDowell) agrees to be interviewed on camera by her husband's old college roommate (Spader) about her general dislike of sex and intimacy. Eventually these two damaged souls make sexytime themselves. Or do they?
Creep Factor: High. Did we mention these tapes are for Graham's private use? Because that's plenty creepy right there. On the other hand, his female subjects don't seem to mind sharing intimate details with him, so he must be doing something right.

Dr. Daniel Jackson
Film: Stargate
Story Blurb: The discovery of an ancient teleportation device leads an Egyptologist (Spader) and a hard-nosed soldier (Kurt Russell) to an alien planet, where they battle the forces of the sun god Ra (Jaye Davidson... hey, whatever happened to that guy, anyway?)
Creep Factor: Low. Maybe we're just too accustomed to Michael Shanks' version of Daniel Jackson, but Spader's version of "dorky scientist" plays more like "unwashed shut-in." If we were Russell, we wouldn't want this guy along for the interstellar journey either.

James Ballard
Film: Crash
Story Blurb: After surviving a terrible car accident, a film producer (Spader) finds that he can only get aroused when behind the wheel of an automobile that's about to careen off the road.
Creep Factor: Off the charts. This David Cronenberg-directed film is twisted in general (for its small, but devoted fanbase, that's one of its chief charms) and Spader's almost frighteningly committed performance enhances its strangeness.

E. Edward Grey
Film: Secretary
Story Blurb: A novice secretary named Lee (Maggie Gyllenhaal) gets more than she bargained for when she starts working for a lawyer (Spader) who has a thing for submissive girls that don't mind introducing a little physical pain into their lovemaking.
Creep Factor: Moderate. Edward and Lee may be one of the most charming BDSM couples (Google long as you're not at work) in movie history. We think that's a compliment.

Watch Joss Whedon tease some of his other plans for The Avengers sequel below.

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