Update privacy choices

How James Spader's Past Film Jerks Could Crush the Avengers

Yahoo Movies

James Spader has spent most of his IMDB page racking up an impressive résumé as slimy, smarmy villains, from his early portrayals of wheat-haired, Reagan-era sociopaths to his current role as an elder-statesman creep on The Blacklist. So it's no wonder that Joss Whedon cast him as the titular age-defining villain in the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. The spectacularly dickish skills that Spader has honed in his classic films, from Pretty in Pink to Less than Zero to Secretary, are perfectly suited to jab at the Achilles' heels of Marvel's greatest superheroes. Click on to see which former character's talents will help him fell which Avenger.

1. Rip from 'Less Than Zero'
The handsome, merciless drug dealer — the ne plus ultra of the yuppie L.A. horrorshows living destructive lives of cocaine, sex and violence in the movie based on Bret Easton Ellis' novel — was the antithesis of Captain America. The morally impeccable Cap uses his genetically enhanced strength to stand up for the meek and desperate; the morally reprehensible Rip used cocaine to force the drug-addict Julian (played by Robert Downey Jr. — heeyyy, Iron Man full circle!) into prostitution to pay back a large debt. If Ultron douses himself in a similarly Rip-like musk of entitlement, amorality and Drakkar Noir, Captain America will drop to his knees in jingoisitic despair, begging to be sent back to the more innocent time of World War II.
2. Graham from 'Sex, Lies, and Videotape'
In Steven Soderbergh's erotic drama, the misogynistic Graham filmed women revealing their deepest fears and fantasies about their sexuality, and his voyeuristic manipulation ultimately destroyed their lives and marriages. Now, Scarlett Johannson's Black Widow is a fearsome, deadly warrior… but her hand-to-hand combat skills could be nullified if Ultron could get her in front of a Handicam and sweet-talk her into confessing the recurring, aching dreams of her and the Hulk making forbidden anger-fueled green love. If he then leaves the tape around for Bruce Banner, things will be too awkward on the battlefield to really get much smashing done.
3. E. Edward Grey from 'Secretary'
Long before "50 Shades," this Grey was the original domineering, wealthy, S&M businessman. (Christian Grey, eat your heart out…but you’d probably be into that, so, never mind.) In the film, E. Edward turned his nervous, shy and insecure secretary (Maggie Gyllenhaal) into his sex slave. Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) would fall for that in a second. Not only is he insecure (he's surrounded by co-workers with superstrength, robot suits, and immortality, and he's got a bow and arrow), but he already proved himself easy prey for mind control in the first "Avengers." We’re not saying Hawkeye would end up in a ball-gag and a gimp suit, but you never know.
4. Roger Barnes from 'Wall Street'
The character Spader was seemingly genetically engineered to play, Roger was a thieving, duplicitous stockbroker in Oliver Stone's treatise on corporate greed. Thor — who, let's face it, ain't exactly the brains of the Avengers operation — would fall for his scams before you can say "Mjölnir." If Ultron uses those Roger skills to concoct a Ponzi scheme with Loki, Thor will soon be pawning his hammer to raise money for Rainbow Bridge tolls.
5. Michael Boll from 'Bad Influence'
Michael was a gentle man until he met the hedonistic Alex (played by Rob Lowe); under his guidance, Michael realizes his deep-seated desire to become a drug- and sex-fueled "monster." Sounds familiar, doesn't it, Hulk? If Ultron can use what Michael learned from Rob Lowe, the villain could teach Bruce Banner that what he really wants is to become a big green cokehead when he gets angry.
6. Steff from 'Pretty in Pink'
When it comes to felling Iron Man, it takes an a-hole to beat an a-hole. Steff was probably the biggest "sandy-haired wealthy dirtbag" in all teen movie-dom, but Molly Ringwald's Andie was able to fight off his unwanted advances with the power of homemade fashion and a healthy acceptance of her much lower tax bracket. The loaded and equally cocky Tony Stark, however, would not fare so well against a Steff-ified Ultron. These two unbearably arrogant rich dudes would be like two magnets repelling each other; without the calming, supportive tones of a Duckie, Tony would self-immolate on douchebaggery before even slipping into his savior suit — while Ultron would light his cigarette in the flames and stroll off to try on some blazers at Hugo Boss.

What to read next