With the recent news that Bryan Singer is casting the roles of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch for X-Men: Days of Future Past presumably designed to one-up the reports that Joss Whedon is using the same characters in The Avengers 2, anyone expecting some kind of half-cocked, defensive response from Whedon will have to look elsewhere. Singer's news came hot on the heels of Whedon's confirmation that the characters would show up in the sequel to his blockbuster, but the details are still under wraps.
During an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on May 24th in order to promote his upcoming ultra-low-budget passion project, a modern-garb adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, Fallon asked about the brother and sister sometime-heroes and why Whedon included them.
Watch the whole video above, but talking specifically about Quicksilver and his sister the Scarlet Witch, Whedon had this to say:
"Besides the fact that I grew up reading them, their powers are very visually interesting. One of the problems I had on the first one was everybody basically had punchy powers. [Quicksilver]’s got super speed. [Scarlet] can weave spells and a little telekinesis, get inside your head. There’s good stuff that they can do that will help sort of keep it fresh."
Interestingly, Whedon never once acknowledges the fact that these same characters will appear in Days of Future Past nor says anything which will fuel the swirl of questions many fans no doubt have regarding this fact. True, his real reason for appearing on Fallon's show was to promote Much Ado About Nothing, but his measured response suggests he knew there would be an Avengers 2 question, and he was completely prepared.
Due to a complicated rights agreement between Fox - who owns the movie rights to the X-Men - and Marvel, Singer's film can use the characters since they are the children of main X-villain Magneto and part of the established mutant universe. Whedon can include the characters if they are never acknowledged as mutants or part of the X-Men universe as a whole. His reasons for including them actually makes perfect sense when explained this way - infusing the Avengers with a variety of superhero powers feels like an organic way to expand the universe even further, rather than an expanded cameo in an already-crowded cast of mutant characters (as Singer's news seems to be).
With reports that the origins of the duo will be re-imagined (they'll be British this time around, rather than Magneto's Eastern European offspring), Whedon clearly already has a specific approach in mind regarding these two and how they can be utilized as a counter-point to the Avengers: “You know, they had a rough beginning. They’re interesting to me because they sort of represent the part of the world that wouldn’t necessarily agree with The Avengers. So they’re not there to make things easier. I’m not putting any characters in the movie that will make things easier.”
While rumors abound that Saoirse Ronan (Hanna) is the model for Scarlet Witch's re-design, Whedon also noted that they're casting the role now. This means that they will be also be finding an actor to play Quicksilver - a character to be played by American Horror Story star Evan Peters in Singer's film. This either means the moviegoing public will be treated to two sets of actors playing the same characters in two big-budget blockbusters opening within less than a year of each other - which would prove confusing, to say the least - or Whedon's characters will significantly differ from the source material or there really might be some kind of crossover between the rival movie universes, just as Days of Future Past producer Lauren Shuler Donner has stated she would like to see.
So are these just offhand remarks by Whedon? Is he shooting back at Singer by not acknowledging the X-Men news? Is this just another red herring? Stay tuned for more details as these maybe-parallel projects develop.
Much Ado About Nothing opens on June 7th, 2013. X-Men: Days of Future Past will premiere on July 14th, 2014, and The Avengers 2 will open on May 1st, 2015.
Source: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon [via Comic Book Movie]