So now that Days of Future Past is out, and fans and critics are abuzz, a few parts stand out. I’m not talking about the stealth reboot they slipped in, or even how technically we’ve all seen Jennifer Lawrence naked now. No, I mean the scene-stealing Quicksilver, and how he’ll eventually be a pain in the ass to fans.
Quick recap: Magneto is being held in a cell in the Pentagon for allegedly killing JFK. Xavier, Beast, and Wolverine need to get him, so Logan tips them off to someone he knows present day who’s just a kid in 1973. Enter Quicksilver, Peter Maximoff, who zips in, gets Mags out, and then exits the movie.
Despite the initial uproar to his appearance, fans have warmed to Evan Peters as the speedy mutant who takes out a room full of armed guards and says “whip-laaaash.” The catch is that with the once and future Kick-Ass taking up the role next year in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” this is going to be a headache.
Quicksilver is in the movie for one awesome scene, but the problem is that’s it. It’s the definition of a Purple Patch, or something in a story that serves no purpose and should’ve been cut. He’s there, then shown again watching TV, and no impact on the plot. Sure he busts out Magneto, but what if Mags wasn’t there and instead in a cave somewhere? Shorter run time, a couple fewer actors to pay, and a reduced effects budget. It’s like if Nightcrawler was in X-Men 2 for just the White House scene. It sets up the rest of the film, but you could get around it with a rewrite.
So why go to the extra expense of putting another character in? The same reason Wolverine isn’t in “Avengers”; Fox paid good money for the X-Men rights and they’re going to exercise them. They want that mutant money.
The headache is that now there’ll be competing versions of a character in the public’s minds when ” Age of Ultron” cones out. Joss Whedon likes to write characters pretty close to their comic versions (note the dark past of Black Widow referenced only in “Avengers”) so his Peter will probably be closer to the obnoxious and impatient version. When he and his sister Wanda AKA Scarlet Witch popped up at the end of “Winter Soldier,” they appeared to be the result of Hydra experiments and learning their powers; Evan Peters’ version was pretty adept at zipping around. Not to mention the fact that this character is apparently the same age in 1973 as he is in 2014 or so.
Granted, “Ultron” is still filming, maybe Whedon can tweak dialogue a bit to explain things away. And there actually are mutants in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; Scorcher, a SHIELD agent and bit player in a few issues of “Wolverine” popped up in “Agents of SHIELD,” with powers that appeared sans explanation.
But basically two movie studios are still giving the public two versions of the same character at basically the same time. Comic fans get it, but for those average movie-goers, they may be scratching their heads. We all have some variation on the “why isn’t Spider-Man/Batman/Hellboy in ‘Avengers?'” story. This one is a bit more hard to explain, because basically Fox ate Marvel’s lunch.