X-Men: Days of Future Past has added yet another team member to its mutant clown car of a cast. Director, Bryan Singer's latest film-related announcement on Twitter would be used to welcome actor, Evan Peters to the cast for his role as Pietro Maximoff, aka mutant speedster, Quicksilver. And yes, you read that correctly. Quicksilver: The same character who, with his sister, Scarlet Witch, was all but set to hop aboard the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2015 for Joss Whedon's The Avengers 2. -- SCANDALOUS!
The news is undoubtedly good for Peters, who you may have seen on American Horror Story and in a supporting role in another underrated comic book film adaptation, Kick-Ass. However, his recent fortune has been eclipsed by the controversial nature of his role; an aspect that Singer seemed to tease.
"Before he was an #Avenger, he was just a REALLY fast kid. Thrilled to say #EvanPeters is joining #XMen #DaysOfFuturePast as #Quicksilver."
Singer would eventually delete the Avengers-acknowledging tweet, replacing it with a less-provocative version, but it does seems that there's more than a bit of gamesmanship happening between Fox and Marvel Studios when it comes to the cultivation of characters from the pages of Marvel Comics to the big screen. In fact, a recent report by HitFix claims that Quicksilver's only scene in Days of Future Past is a speedster-centric sequence that Singer feels only works with the character. Conversely, Joss Whedon reportedly had (and maybe still does have) BIG plans for Quicksilver and his sister in The Avengers 2, which are apparently quite relevant to the still-developing plot. The move to bring the character into the comically-crowded Days, which we don't know was the idea of Fox or Singer himself, has unleashed a flood of fan backlash, bringing to light the flimsy legal loopholes to which each side of this issue must abide if they are to use the characters.
So, who is right or wrong in this puzzling battle over a character that...well, not too many people really cared about until the studios started fighting over him?
Marvel Studios, of course, hold the legal film rights to The Avengers and the films related to its team members (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Ant-Man, etc.) Fox, who have long-held the film rights to the X-Men franchise, have been scratching their heads trying to put together a cohesive movie universe in a similar manner to the monolithic success of The Avengers last year. (A difficult task considering the inconsistent mess of a canon that is the X-Men films.) A fact that has been in the movie news cycles recently is that both Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch have been a part of both titles. They initially debuted as the villainous children of Magneto, eventually settling into their better-known place as heroic members of The Avengers. Thus, their existence in both theaters of the Marvel Comic Book Universe has made them fair game in the divided world of Marvel Movies where Marvel Studios, for example, are legally restricted from using buzz words like "mutant" (or "Magneto") and on the other side of the coin, Fox cannot use the term "Avenger." So, regardless of whether Quicksilver eventually shows up in Days of Future Past, The Avengers 2, or possibly both, each film would essentially contain a different version of the Quicksilver character with different origin explanations.
The whole thing is a mess and it may be the case that one of the involved parties decides to swerve in this filmmaking game of chicken. However, one thing is for sure, the Internet is abuzz with rage over this stunt and it may be the case that Singer or Fox decide that they already have more mutants than they know what to do with and that they could always just substitute another character for their sequence with another "mutant" speedster like Northstar. (Who holds the distinction of being the first openly gay character in comics. So, there's a socially-conscious incentive to sub him in, as well.)
X-Men Days of Future Past could be trying to utilize more legal loopholes to quickly add Superman to the cast when it hits theaters on July 18, 2014. (Just kidding. It's actually just Green Lantern.)