In The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel’s superhero team will face the threat of new super-powered “miracles” The Twins - better known to fans as the characters Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). As seen in the Captain America 2 mid-credits scene, the Marvel Cinematic Universe versions of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are going to be powerful (and dangerous) examples of what happens when humans gain super abilities.
However, before Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson play iconic superhero/villain comic book siblings, they will first play a husband and wife separated by the worse threat mankind has ever faced, in Legendary Pictures’ blockbuster reboot of Godzilla.
It was during the Godzilla press junket in New York that we got to talk to the pair of young actors, about everything from what it’s like filming the sequel to the box office behemoth that was Avengers; what it’s like stepping into such iconic franchises; and of course, the awkwardness of going from lovers to brother and sister in the span of a single movie.
Olsen was the more forthcoming of the two, playfully parrying the question of what it’s like having to pretend that the guy she was just kissing in Godzilla is now her brother in Avengers 2:
Elizabeth Olsen: It’s awesome! [Laughs] You know, we only did a few scenes together for [Godzilla], but we spent time together in Vancouver, and I got to know his family, and we spent time together. And to play really tight twin brother and sister, it’s really lucky it’s not with some guy I jut met or something. I think we both like the fact that we have this other film [Godzilla] in our repertoire.
(In one version of the comics, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are actually an incestuous brother/sister pair. So either way, Olsen and Johnson are ready!)
Preparation is always key for an actor who is stepping into a major comic book role – but Olsen has made it clear in past interviews that she is doing substantial research on Scarlett Witch – research she has apparently continued with:
With ‘Avengers’, for me it was just like ‘Throw it all in!’ and just like read. And I’m still reading comics, and I love looking at fan pages for something like that. I think for something like a comic book character, that’s something else… But I’m also the first human interpretation of the Scarlet Witch, so you want to be able to honor cartoons and comics and fans and all of that. But bring your own thing to it that you’re creating. So that’s been a really fun process… But it’s awesome because she’s dope.
Olsen says that Godzilla was her first major CGI-heavy film – but the process of learning to act against your own imagination is apparently different when on the Avengers 2 set with Joss Whedon:
It such a different world. It’s so crazy. The main difference is that in ‘Godzilla’ you’re reacting to something that isn’t there, and in something like ‘Avengers’, you’re approaching and almost interacting with something that’s not there. [Pauses then laughs]. And so that’s what the main difference is for me, right now.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson is a much more guarded actor when it comes to discussing performances. Back during our Kick-Ass 2 interviews, Johnson was quite vocal about how he, as an actor, is not the biggest fan of sequels or revisiting performances – seemingly the antithesis of what blockbuster franchise films like Godzilla or Avengers 2 are aiming to do.
Taylor-Johnson touched briefly on this ongoing struggle as an actor – in regards to both Godzilla and (what he would only refer to as) “the other movie”:
I don’t sort of narrow myself down into any sort of like pocket of genre. I literally just go on the back of the filmmaker and the character, you know? I have to feel that character, believe that character, relate to him, so on… And the filmmaker is hugely important, because at the end of the day it’s their vision, and you’re going to spend three, six months in that world.
As for the struggle to revisit a character in sequels? Johnson says he’s still figuring out how to do that:
I think I’d breach those when it comes to the sequels… I guess so, you know? [Laughs] I’m just taking it one day at a time.
(Johnson’s phrasing could arguably be indication that Quicksilver WILL be back in future Marvel movies, but that’s not yet been CONFIRMED. If/when it is, you heard it here first!)
Turning to our first meeting of “The Twins” at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier: It’s pretty clear in the mid-credits sequence that Quicksilver is still getting used to the physics and control of his super-speed powers; however, fans have been debating what it is, exactly, they saw Scarlet Witch doing with her abilities.
In the scene, Olsen’s Scarlet Witch is seen levitating three blocks seemingly with her mind, until she smashes the blocks together in violent action before the screen suddenly cuts to black. The debate has been whether we observed dangerous telekinetic abilities at work, or if there was some hint as to Scarlet Witch’s “reality-altering hex powers” from the comics.
For her part, Olsen isn’t telling:
What am I doing [in the clip]? Whatever it looks like [Laughs]. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say ANYthing! I’m so terrified about everything Marvel!
Until we know more, fan speculation will likely continue to range from Marvel scaling Scarlet Witch’s powers down to a more manageable cache of psychic abilities to the character retaining her full abilities and somehow being connected to the Reality Stone – one of six Marvel Movie MacGuffins that could eventually culminate in a showdown with Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet in a later Avengers sequel. We’ll see.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be in theaters on May 1, 2015.
BUT FIRST - Godzilla will storm theaters on May 16, 2014.