Bryan Singer is pulling out all the stops for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Seemingly every time a rival studio earns headlines with news bits or announcements, whether it be Sony with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Warner Bros. with Man of Steel or Marvel Studios and their pile of Phase Two films, the director who first brought X-Men to life on the big screen takes to Twitter with a newsworthy slice of info himself.
While Iron Man 3 is currently rocking theaters worldwide, Thor: The Dark World next on the docket, Captain America: The Winter Soldier shooting in public areas and Guardians of the Galaxy gearing up for a London production start next month, the two-years-out sequel to The Avengers has managed to steal some spotlight with writer/director Joss Whedon hyping up the introduction of two new characters, one of which Bryan Singer just cast in X-Men: Days of Future Past. What?
Let's start at the beginning. Just a few weeks ago during the LA world premiere of Iron Man 3, Joss Whedon intentionally revealed to reporter after reporter on the red carpet that his first script draft for The Avengers 2 (still untitled) was complete. He expressed excitement about introducing and playing with a new "brother-sister" act, which fans knew right away was a reference to Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, aka Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Reports here and there claimed to have confirmed the two characters, but it was clinched when Joss Whedon confirmed it himself, talking about how the pair may mess with the team dynamic and not necessarily agreeing with how The Avengers function.
Obviously with Twentieth Century Fox owning the film rights to all things mutant and X-Men from the Marvel Comics universe, there were some questions that needed to be answered. We knew from interviews with Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige that these two characters were contractually an exception to the rule since in the books, they are both X-Men characters and members of The Avengers. He said it's "complicated" but essentially, both studios could use the brother and sister. We also understand that if Marvel Studios were to use them in the Marvel Cinematic Universe there were some stipulations - namely that they couldn't be mutants, nor could they be children of X-Men villain Magneto.
Does that mean both studios could use them simultaneously or is it a case of first come, first served? We don't know but we're going to find out pretty damn soon because just weeks after Joss Whedon announced his intentions of introducing them in The Avengers 2, Bryan Singer is beating him to the punch:
— Bryan Singer (@BryanSinger) May 23, 2013
X-Men: Days of Future Past releases next July and The Avengers 2 releases May 2015. It should also be noted the Days of Future Past began production a few weeks ago, so the casting of Evan Peters - an incredible actor for anyone who's watched American Horror Story - is oddly timed to say the least, if not intentional. With the sheer amount of characters at play in the X-Men super team-up, Peters likely will not have a significant role to play, but at this point, with Singer turning the time-travel tale into an all-star cast party featuring towering Sentinel robots and Peter Dinklage's mustache, more the merrier, right? And how can you say no to this guy:
What does this mean for The Avengers 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past? There are three possibilities:
- Singer and Fox are planting their foot in the ground and beating Marvel Studios to the punch, finally introducing Magneto's children after six X-Men films (we're not counting the "cameo" in X-Men Origins: Wolverine), and both studios are offering their own adaptation of the super-fast Quicksilver character and his sister. Fox has Peters, who will Whedon cast to compete?
- Marvel and Joss Whedon's "brother-sister act" may not be what it seems and rumors of them changing their origins significantly may prove true - non-mutants of British heritage, unrelated to Magneto, perhaps even with different names. If this is the case, what's the point of using them and not any of the dozens of other legally available Avengers members from the vast Marvel Library?
- The ultimate fanboy outcome: However unlikely, after all the talk from Fox's Marvel movie consultant Mark Millar and producer Lauren Shuler Donner of desiring a crossover with The Avengers universe, Fox and Disney/Marvel have somehow struck up a deal to make it so. Beginning with X-Men: Days of Future Past, the Scarlet Witch/Quicksilver introduced in Singer's film are the same pair going to show up in The Avengers 2, meaning Evan Peters may have just been cast in The Avengers 2 as well. They can get away with not entirely acknowledging the events of the upcoming X-Men film (and previous franchise installments) with the alternate timeline/universe plot device. Heck, Scarlet Witch can use her reality and probability altering abilities to literally erase the existence of all (most) mutants, explaining why they've not appeared or been mentioned in the Marvel Studios movies (see: House of M). Not to get too far into geekdom, but such a deal with Fox would potentially allow Marvel Studios to utilize characters from the Fantastic Four library as well and we know they're interested in owning Silver Surfer and Galactus again...
The third option is super complicated, but it was widely reported that Marvel Studios was at least willing to work with other studios when it came to The Avengers since they were willing to include the Oscorp tower from The Amazing Spider-Man into the same skyline as the Stark Tower. Scheduling of visual effects sadly prevented it from happening. For fans, this is the best case scenario, but also the least likely.
The more likely scenario is that each studio is, unfortunately, aiming to draw from the same two characters, and for Fox, since they have not one, but two Magnetos played by two of the best actors on the planet, win out. That would mean Marvel Studios - much like they were criticized for taking liberties from Marvel Comics in Iron Man 3's story - are going to go even more extreme in distancing themselves from the source material with their versions of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in The Avengers 2. That is, assuming Whedon and Feige are not playing everyone about the new characters in sequel.
Right now, one thing is official. Evan Peters is playing Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The Avengers 2 shoots next year and rumor has it, they already have mock ups of their ideal designs for Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, the latter of which is based on Oscar-nominated actress Saoirse Ronan. She was asked about her thoughts on the rumors by The Mary Sue to which she replied:
"I have heard about it and yes, I would. Yeah, of course I would. I love Joss and I love those films, and I love his handle on them and how he portrayed these kinds of superheroes. I think it’s very different from what anyone else has done. So yeah, I’d love to be in it."
With Quicksilver now cast, a Scarlet Witch X-Men announcement may be coming up soon for the film that serves as a sequel to both X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: First Class. Bryan Singer knew this tweet would result in buzz, confusion and questions and perhaps that's all a part of the plan. Soon we'll hear from executives and talent from both sides of the camp and we may have our answers. Or maybe we won't and there are surprises to be had further into the future.
Ready to have your mind blown? What if Saoirse Ronan was cast as Wanda Maximoff in X-Men: Days of Future Past?
Ready to have your mind blown again? It's possible that Quicksilver appears in two different variations in theaters before The Flash is even introduced on the big screen. Some things just aren't fair in life.
Bryan Singer directs X-Men: Days of Future Past with newcomers Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Boo Boo Stewart, Fan Bingbing, Evan Peters, Adan Canto, along with returning stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Halle Berry, Daniel Cudmore.
The Wolverine releases July 26, 2013, X-Men: Days of Future Past on July 18, 2014.
Let me know on Twitter @rob_keyes if you'd like to see X-Men and The Avengers crossover!Exclusive: Chad Ridgely Joins Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
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