Who’d of thunk that Pietro would be so popular, right? After Joss Whedon confirmed that the Maximoff twins would be appearing in Avengers 2, thus kind of settling the debate over which universe the characters ultimately belong, Bryan Singer decided to throw a wrench into that plan by confirming not only the appearance of Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but also that the role had already been cast. On May 23rd, Singer tweeted:
— Bryan Singer (@BryanSinger) May 24, 2013
Evan Peters is an up-and-coming young actor who’s been working in television for about a decade now, but you might recognize him mostly from his roles as Kit Walker and Tate Langdon on American Horror Story. Ya know, if you’re into that sort of show.
The point is that Singer has a few things going for him that Whedon doesn’t. One: he’s actually cast the role of Quicksilver. Two: Days of Future Past comes out about a year before Avengers 2. Three: Fox has exclusive rights to the X-Men characters. If you say the word “mutant” in reference to a character, then Fox owns them. And while this may seem like the first round of some great legal battle, I can’t imagine that Whedon would just stick the twins into his movie if he didn’t already have permission. That’s the thing about movie rights and intellectual property, if the character is off-limits, then there’s no way anyone in the Marvel/Disney or Fox legal departments would let that decision slide. So one has to imagine that some kind of deal has already been worked out to allow Whedon the use of Wanda and Pietro, otherwise all of this is pointless rumor-mongering to generate buzz about…
I’ve covered this already, but it’s worth repeating that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are more associated with The Avengers in the comics even if they are mutants. But, to be fair, a lot of mutants have been on the Avengers’ roster. At this point it’s probably easier to list characters in the Marvel Universe who haven’t been Avengers. And that’s kind of the problem when you have a multitude of characters that share the same universe, at least in the comics. For every team that gets created, there’s gonna be certain characters associated with one team over the other, which makes for some tough red tape to cut through. It’s one of the advantages Warner Bros. Studios has since they have the rights to the entire DC Universe. Nothing’s been split up over various studios, so they don’t have to worry about these issues. They just have to worry about putting a decent movie together (fingers crossed for Man of Steel).
From a business perspective, however, it actually makes a lot of sense to let Avengers 2 use Quicksilver. I’d assume part of the deal to include them involves merchandising rights, which would bring in more money for Fox when Disney markets the crap out of Avengers 2 toys that will more than likely include Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. So, really, it’s a bit of a win-win for Fox and Marvel. Both movies get to use a somewhat unknown character outside of the comic book community, Fox will probably get a huge chunk of cash via merchandising, and Marvel may get some new readers for their books. That’s the beauty of introducing a lower-tiered character rather than, say, speculate on the appearance of Spider-Man or Wolverine. It’s just not gonna happen because those two characters are too high-profile and the studios would be idiots to let them off their money-making leashes. But Quicksilver? Who really knows that much about him except comic book readers and maybe fans who remember some of the cartoons? Being an unknown, along with his sister, gives the movies some leeway to explore them as characters.
Now, with Quicksilver confirmed in both movies, though I am shocked Wanda hasn’t been announced in Days of Future Past, there’s been some speculation about whether this means the character will cross over from one movie to the other. I’m gonna go ahead and say it’s a big ol’ NO! Days of Future Past will feature a young Quicksilver, more than likely to put in some family drama and father/son bonding with him and Magneto, but Avengers 2 will probably cast an actor who’s in his mid-to-late twenties to play an older Pietro. Not a lot of hope for the actor traversing the two universes, which is probably for the best. It’s actually a little exciting to see how Days of Future Past writers (Jane Goldman, Simon Kinberg, and Matthew Vaughn) will interpret a young Pietro versus Joss Whedon’s take on an older Pietro with the addition of Wanda.
I’m not gonna lie, my money’s on Whedon just because he’s actually written X-Men comics and seems to understand their part of the Marvel Universe. Plus, Whedon knows ensemble pieces (especially sibling relationships) and has a tendency to write really well for characters you wouldn’t expect him to like. His run on Astonishing X-Men split its focus mainly between Cyclops and Kitty Pryde, keeping Wolverine as a supporting character. The X-Men movies thus far…yeah, that’s another article for another day. Let’s just say my expectations are low. It’s a completely biased opinion, I know, but I’m hedging my bets on a franchise that hasn’t let me down just yet.
Needless to say, this will be the first time a comic book character has been featured in two separate cinematic universes with differing interpretations. If that doesn’t at least generate some excitement, then we’re all dead inside.