EDITORIAL: A Look At Joss Whedon Vs. Bryan Singer And The Battle For Quicksilver
In the following editorial, I take an in-depth look at the recent news that 20th Century Fox and Bryan Singer's decision to add Quicksilver to the cast of X-Men: Days of Future Past and how this will ultimately impact Marvel Studios' plans for the character in The Avengers 2.
Let's be honest; at this point, we really don't know all that much about X-Men: Days of Future Past. On the one hand we have what we DO know (very little), and on the other we have what we THINK we know (a lot). However, the addition of Quicksilver to the already packed out cast of characters falls into the category of the former and it is this which has been met with an extremely negative reaction from fans over the past 24 hours. Why? Well, a lot of it is due to the fact that many believe that Marvel Studios will now scrap plans to use the character and his sister the Scarlet Witch because of the inevitable confusion and possible legal issues this could cause. While Marvel are seemingly well within their rights to still introduce the duo in The Avengers 2 - referring to them as "Pietro" and "Wanda" instead of their superhero codenames - the fact that Fox has now decided to use Quicksilver appears to be a spiteful last minute addition to the film to preempt Marvel's plans. Singer's Tweet (which has since been deleted) even seemed to confirm this fact.
Regardless of how you read into that, another argument could be made that as Singer apparently has one key action sequence in mind tailor made for the speedster, that Quicksilver was surely written into the script LONG before Joss Whedon and Kevin Feige revealed their plans for the character. However, if Fox and the director really had no ill will against Marvel, why not use Northstar? Singer has been praised for how he used homosexulaity as a parallel for what mutants go through in X-Men and X-2, so you would think that an openly gay character such as this one would have been an even better addition to this movie. A counter to that point could be that they're planning on exploring Quicksilver's complicated and complex relationship with his father, Magneto. However, after four films and not even a hint that the villain has any children, it seems odd that such a last-minute casting addition would play that large of a role.
The simple fact that sources close to the production have stated that Singer's main reason for wanting the character is for a single action sequence seems to put an end to that theory, and it seems far more likely that Evan Peters and Quicksilver will do about as much as the countless and entirely forgettable mutants who appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand or X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It's frustrating enough that Singer has dumped the entire Brotherhood formed by Magneto at the end of X-Men: First Class in preference of the characters from his two previous instalments (they'll seemingly just be written out with no explanation), but it is at least understandable why as they're needed in a film which deals with time travel. The point though is that this is one VERY crowded movie and Singer has so much to deal with, it's hard to imagine that Quicksilver's relationship with his father will be one of them.
Of course, it very well could be and those complaining will all be proved wrong by the time the movie comes out. We just do not know at this point. As brilliant a job as Joss Whedon will more than likely do with both Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, he can't reference the fact that they're mutants, he can't use their superhero names and he can't exploit their past as member sof the Brotherhood and their relationship with their father. If Fox don't do this in X-Men: Days of Future Past and Marvel Studios do change their plans to utilize the duo, fans are not going to be happy that two characters with so much potential have been so totally wasted (we have no idea whether Scarlet Witch will even be included at this point, although Quicksilver' relationship with Magneto is arguably far more interesting anyway).
We have a lot of time to wait until we get the answers to the questions raised in this article, but there's no getting around the fact that Singer and Fox have done themselves no favours by making this decision. Yes, there's no denying that it could be that Quicksilver was ALWAYS destined to be a part of this film - Singer actually wanted to include the character in X-Men: First Class - but the fact is that this is not how it looks and THAT is why a quick search on Twitter or in the comment section of this (or any other) site shows that fans are not happy. This casts a dark cloud over a movie which has already disappointed many with the fact that Matthew Vaughn isn't directing and more generic leather costumes...Singer promised the black ones wouldn't be returning, but brown versions are certainly coming out in full force. Regardless, Marvel Studios could still beat them to it by speeding up - no pun intended - their casting process for Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver and introducing them in the after-credits scene of Thor: The Dark World or Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Will it make a huge difference? No, but it will allow them to assert their dominance!
What this isn't leading to is an Avengers Vs. X-Men crossover. The relationship between Marvel and Fox isn't supposed to be a very good one and the monetary and rights issues make such a movie impossible. However, perhaps we should be grateful for the fact that we're getting to see two surely very different versions of the same character on the big screen? No matter how confusing it is to the general audience, it could be that we end up getting two brilliant interpretations of Quicksilver! More likely though is that one will be superior, and if the past has taught us anything, it will be Whedon's. Ultimately, Marvel probably aren't even that bothered by this. The Avengers 2 will more than likely once again gross upwards of $1.5 billion, while X-Men: Days of Future Past will be lucky to surpass $500 million if the past performance of the franchise is anything to go by. Again, we're just going to have to wait and see. For now, here are some of the reactions I received on Twitter when I said I would be posting this editorial...
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