‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’: The Difficulty of Filming Quicksilver Super-Speed Scenes

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Marvel Comics Avengers Academy 7 Quicksilver Tron X Men: Days of Future Past: The Difficulty of Filming Quicksilver Super Speed Scenes

It’s a good time to be a comic book fan, particularly if you’re a movie fan as well. Movies based on comic books continue to dominate at the box office and as a result there’s a full roster of superhero movies to look forward to, including two different versions of Pietro Maximoff AKA Quicksilver, a mutant gifted with superhuman speed.

It was only recently confirmed that Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass 2) will be taking on the role in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but Evan Peters (American Horror Story) has already finished filming his version of Quicksilver for director Bryan Singer in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Despite being a direct sequel to X-Men: First Class, the movie will also tie into the original X-Men trilogy, and will also introduce a new threat in the form of Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) and his mutant-hunting robots, The Sentinels.

Over the summer, Singer tweeted a picture from the set of Days of Future Past showing just how brightly lit the set needed to be when filming Peters’ scenes at 3600 fps. When shooting at such a high frame rate, there is only a tiny fraction of a second during which light can pass through the camera’s aperture for each frame, so in order to actually be able to see anything on the footage, the set needed to be absolutely flooded with light. Speaking in an interview with i09, Peters said that this was the toughest part of filming:

“It was incredibly bright. A lot of the crew and Bryan, himself, got to wear sunglasses. And the actors had to keep their eyes open for a long, long time, with that bright light just blaring at you. It’s like the sun. It’s brighter than the sun. It’s right there in your eyes. But the end result is so worth it. You just power through it.

“It does kind of hurt. I don’t know how safe that is? Keeping your eyes open for more than 20 seconds in that light. But yeah it does hurt. It’s really difficult to keep your eyes open… It’s super, super, super, super slomo. You can see raindrops frozen in the air. Stuff like that. It’s amazing how that camera works.”

Evan Peters as Quicksilver X Men: Days of Future Past: The Difficulty of Filming Quicksilver Super Speed Scenes

The effects that can be achieved by shooting at such high frame rates are very impressive (check out the Slow Mo Guys channel for some good examples), and it’s particularly suitable for showing how the world appears to Quicksilver. Peters went on to say that the idea of playing a character who is constantly left waiting for everyone to catch up was pretty interesting for him:

“I read one of the comics where he says that it’s like waiting at an ATM, when the people in front of you don’t know how to use it. That’s how his whole life is, everybody is so slow to him. And he has the ability to go so fast, he’s just waiting for everybody to catch up. It’s pretty cool, that character trait.”

Peters was understandably cagey about certain details, but he did let a few things slip. With regards to his appearance, he will definitely be sporting silver hair as well as 70′s jeans and what he describes as “a pretty sweet jacket.” It would be pretty cool to see some kind of outfit that works in the light blue tone and silver lightning bolt of his costume in the comics.

DOFP Magneto Prof X X Men: Days of Future Past: The Difficulty of Filming Quicksilver Super Speed Scenes

The actor also dodged a question about what it was like to work with Ian McKellen by saying, “No, I worked with Michael Fassbender.” He may have just been playing coy, but it’s also possible that he simply had no scenes with McKellen. Given the time travel aspects of the plot, it’s still unclear exactly which characters will end up running into each other, and when such interactions will take place – not to mention, Quicksilver’s relationship with Magneto, in general.

The cinematography being used to capture Peters’ performance sounds exciting, and the actor sounds like he’s done his research, but does this newcomer have what it takes to knock the Quicksilver role out of the park, or will he be outpaced by his Kick-Ass co-star Aaron Johnson when The Avengers: Age of Ultron is released?


X-Men: Days of Future Past is out in theaters on May 23rd, 2014.

Source: io9

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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  1. can’t wait!!!

  2. This just… I don’t know, I hate that there are going to be 2 f*cking Quicksilvers. One by Marvel and one by Fox. I don’t care which studio does it first it just irks me to no end. And seriously Fox, you’ve got like 40 mutants in this f*cking movie, do you really need Quicksilver? Ugh, it just kills me. And its stupid that there is already 2 seperate Quicksilvers but no Flash over at WB.

    • so you must not be a comic book fan. how many different versions of supers are there. Most nick furry’s are white while the ultimate furry is a soul brother

      • @The Avenged, yours is an entirely different point that does not really belong here. Deadpool, I agree with you basically. Fox used Quicksilver just as a Childish stunt to use him first.

        • Don’t give Marvel/Disney too much credit UI saw somewhere that Joss Whedon added Quickie and SW into the script much later than what was planned at fox but this was a long time ago so I may be wrong (no hate comments)

          • Sorry but not true. Joss had already said he was writing the A2 script with the brother/sister duo in mind, then Fox all of a sudden after principle photography had already started, add Quicksilver, and so far there is no word if they are adding Scarlet Witch. So what does one conclude? Fox is just pulling a fast one, as a “shove it” to Marvel/Disney.

            • What? Why the heck would a studio shoehorn a character into a movie of this scale for the sake of ‘shoving it’ to a studio? Do you know what it takes to add a character like this into a script of this magnitude? My god you guys make no sense. Just butt hurt people for not getting exactly what you want.

              • You realize studios do this type of thing all the time, right? Read up on why Juggernaut is even in X-men 3.

                And, if you followed the history of what was being said and when, it’s really obvious this was exactly what Fox was doing.

        • and so it begins.

        • It’s not an entirely different point at all, considering you’re talking about different versions of the character. We’ve experienced that in the comics, so what’s the big difference in seeing two film versions?

    • they have the flash at wb silly. they said he is going to be in arrow season 2. I guess you don’t read the articles on screen rant either

      • I meant movies. Its crazy that Quicksilver is is gonna be on film twice before the Flash. And I’m a huge comic book fan but this still doesn’t completely fly with me. Having Quicksilver in this and a year later a new one to get to know in a different film universe. It just worries me. I wished at least Marvel and Fox could get along and cross pollinate these characters but thats next to impossible.

        • Since we’re wishing, I wish that Marvel held the movie rights to EVERY SINGLE of their characters, period!

          • quick silver pulled a hit and run on the flash, (tease).

    • actually, the movie only has 15 characters.

      But no, it has 40 or more mutants to some fans. ‘Its too much!!!’
      Ok. Lol

      • 15 or whatever, still. Every X-Men movie they only focus on around 3-5 mutants, the other 10+ are just there to be there.

        • EXACTLY. Quicksilver is going to be such a minor (but integral?) part of each film, it kinda doesn’t matter.

          Like Police Chief Stacy in Spiderman 3 and 4.
          Like Rhodey in Iron Man and Iron Man 2.
          Hell, Bruce Wayne in Batman Returns and Batman Forever.
          Or John Connor in Terminiator 2, Terminator 3 and Terminator Salvation.

          It’s not like he’s headlining either of these movies.
          This minor part played by multiple actors just doesn’t matter…

          • Dude…I am so confused by your comment. You start off by saying Quicksilver will “be such a minor part” in the film. Okay, I think he will be a bit more than that, but obviously still a supporting role and not a leading one. Either way, I understand you so far. Then, you continue by using examples. The first example begins the confusion for me, with you using Police Chief Stacy as an example of a minor character “In Spiderman 3 and 4″. There are a few ways this is incorrect, depending on what you meant. If you meant the actual Spiderman 3 (with Tobey Maguire) movie, and then just decided to call The Amazing Spiderman reboot “Spiderman 4″ because technically it was the 4th one made (despite being unrelated to one another), you are wrong for only one reason (because I get calling Andrew Garfield’s one Spiderman 4) which is that Police Chief Stacy does not appear whatsoever in Spiderman 3. His character is not present throughout the entire Sam Raimi trilogy, and if for some reason Stacy DID appear briefly in Spiderman 3, it was SO minor that I missed it, and I have seen it several times, and is therefore not in any way comparable to Quicksilvers much larger role. Now, if you meant it in the second (and more likely) way and were referring to The Amazing Spiderman Duology as “Spiderman 3 and 4″ then you are mistaken for more than one reason. The first being that if you are simply numbering them in the order they were made, The Amazing Spiderman movies would be 4 and 5, because before the reboot happened, Sam Raimi’s Spiderman had THREE movies, not two. Secondly, Stacy was MUCH more than a minor role. He was shown as a key supporting character throughout the entire first movie, having continuous interactions with the leading role, and appeared in the climax of the movie as both the savior and the martyr, giving his life to save Spiderman as well as the city. Even his death is an integral part of the plot of not only the first, but the second installment of the reboot, as it is the antagonistic element causing the tension between the lead character and his love interest. Your next example of character being “such a minor part” in a movie or movies is James Rhodes, or “Rhodey” as Stark calls him. Once again, HORRIBLE example of a minor role. Throughout the trilogy, Rhodes is one of the main supporting characters, even becoming a superhero of his own, Warmachine, and fighting alongside Ironman. He is in all three movies, even though you only mention the first and second, meaning you either agree he is more than a minor role but only in the third installment, or that you forgot or were simply unaware that either he or Ironman 3 existed. Your third attempt at finding a character, within what seems to be limited to only comic book movies, is Bruce Wayne in both Tim Burton’s Batman sequel “Batman Returns”, and Joel Schumacher’s “Batman Forever” starring Val Kilmer instead of the previous Batman-Michael Keaton. Out of all four of your examples, this is the only one I consider to be possibly correct; that is, as long as when you say Bruce Wayne, you only mean Bruce Wayne the Billionaire playboy and not Bruce Wayne as Batman. As for your fourth go at showing us what you call “such a minor part” is by far the absolute MOST confusing one out of them all. I have racked my brain and come to the conclusion that there are only two possible causes for you saying what you did; either you said it (and most likely the rest of your examples) as a sarcastic joke or, you accidentally said the wrong name. I say this, because the character you used as an example of being a MINOR part of a movie(s) (you seem to enjoy using trilogies or sagas, with all but one also being about a superhero) is none other than John Conner from Terminator 2,3 and Salvation. All I can say is this-John Conner is THE main Protagonist in all of the Terminator movies you mentioned, with the first Terminator movie being the only one in which John Conner does not appear, much less as the leading role. But aside from the first movie, in which John Conner is conceived, he is THE main character in the second one as a young adolescent being protected by a rewired terminator sent back in time, in the third one as a young 20 something adult, once again being protected by a rewired Terminator sent back in time, and again in the fourth movie, Terminator Salvation, in which he shares the spotlight with both Sam Worthington III who plays a terminator which thinks it’s a man, and Anton Yelchin who plays a young Kyle Reese-the protagonist from the very first Terminator who is also John Conner’s father due to impregnating Sarah Conner when he went back in time to protect her. I know this has been a long response, but the confusing nature of your post compelled me to set the record straight and let others know that your examples are very misleading and ultimately, wildly inaccurate…well, aside from the Bruce Wayne one IF (and ONLY if) you were referring to the scenes in which Bruce Wayne is not Batman and pretending to be an egotistical, immature playboy. Otherwise, if you’re referring to Bruce Wayne all together, whose alter-ego IS the superhero the movie is named for, you’re more wrong than all the other three and their inaccuracy combined. So not trying to pick on you, but I simply could not resist shedding some light on this blunder.

    • well theres only one real one, marvels not fox’s

    • I agree.
      Shame the same actor couldnt be used in the two movies.

  3. It sounds like it is going to look raw. I just hope its the best of the series . I liked xmfc the best out of all the x men movies so far

  4. I mean, yeah, it sounds pretty obvious that he’s in the older timeline. He said he’s wearing 70′s jeans.

    • that’ the part I don’t get, if he’s Magneto’s son, how can he be an adult in the older time line.

      • Because of the same reason Havok is older than Cyclops, or they might even not be related: Fox doesn’t give a damn about those characters.

      • The actor looks young enough to play a 16 or 17 year old guy. And the “past” scenes in DOFP are set ten years after First Class. Magneto could very well have had children before First Class, so Quicksilver´s age shouldn´t be a problem.

        And to all the people whining about two different Quicksilvers, just look at it as alternate dimensions. It´s not like there´s only one version of Quicksilver in the comic books.

  5. Really interested to see how there going to make super speed look really cool without making it look like Sheldon as the Flash.


      • I don’t want him as the flash I said I don’t want his super speed to look like the effects to look cheesy like that or Smallville’s Blur

  6. ATJ HAS NOT been CONFIRMED at all, by any means. Don’t go off what Latino-Review has to say as it is FALSE information.

    ATJ is in fact, in final negotiations to play QS. Not confirmed.

    Anyway, now that we’ve got that out of the way…
    It’s going to be very interesting to see how this actually looks/works out on screen.

    • HA! Latino-Review has CONFIRMED so many castings the past couple of weeks.

  7. Sounds awesome!

  8. So it’s worth the actors going blind? “as bright as the sun”. Really worth permanent blindness huh?

  9. I feel the same way Nick! ATJ as QS, the Olsen girl, was she announced by Marvel? Vin Diesel as Groot…. Still not confirmed! WTF Marvel get on the ball and announce this Sh*t

  10. It sounds like they`re gonna make Quicksilver look like an electrical ball

  11. They are changing this QS version, He will be known as QuickStinker

  12. Bring on the Quicksilver I hope both are awesome but I really think the character belongs with the X-Men primarily.

  13. Oh crap, there goes a chance for Flash to be first.

  14. I think Aaron Taylor will OWN the character.

  15. If it’s that hard to shoot and the actors can’t spend a lot of time surrounded by that much light, I guess Quicksilver won’t have a lot of screen time…

  16. It appears that quick silver is faster than the flash when it comes to getting to the box office first.

  17. Not sure they should have used Quicksilver in the X-men film, but definitely pumped he will be in Avengers. One of the characters I most wanted to see added to Avengers (along with Goliath, Wasp, and Scarlet Witch). Hope they keep the costume from the early Avengers comics.

  18. “It does kind of hurt. I don’t know how safe that is? Keeping your eyes open for more than 20 seconds in that light. But yeah it does hurt. It’s really difficult to keep your eyes open… It’s super, super, super, super slomo. You can see raindrops frozen in the air. Stuff like that. It’s amazing how that camera works.”

    Guys, do you ever heard term VFX, CGI anything? It gives you more control and *whispers* doesn’t hurt eyes. Take Spider-man as an example, Spider-camera anyone? long gone? but how why? because its not as cheap as it sounds and you have less control(which leads to spending even more money). Sure, depending on a scene VFX can cost more but its not the only special effect in the movie and wouldn’t add to the cost that much(maybe, i don’t know how much such camera costs and how such scene would look like,for now).

  19. X-Men 5(?) needs a bit stronger selling point than just dueling Quicksilvers.

    General movie paying customer: “What’s a Quicksilver?”

    • yeah, because two X-Men casts together, Peter Dinklage, Bishop, time travel and Sentinels arent enought strong selling points, lol

  20. the x men quicksilver looks laughable

    • “Looks laughable” as in you haven’t seen him in action yet? sorry he’s just sealed himself perma in that universe and beloved by all who manage to catch a glimpse of him in time, compared to the flahs one, he’s a mutant, born that way, his stony and rebellious anti- authority manner is much more relatable than anything about the flash or has done, plus compared to the flash as fast as he moves, he’s limited, but we were still astounded to see bullets moving in slow motion, and him still able to even rapidly accelerate anyways beyond that, as if he was zipping around in the way he was when first introduced, if haven’t seen it don’t knock it.