L to R – Quicksilver (X-men: Days of Future Past), Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver (Avengers 2: Age of Ultron)
Words by: Sarah Lee
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The 2014 summer blockbuster season is already in full swing with the recent release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The movie has received rave reviews and deservedly so with its numerous twists and turns. The re-emergence of Hydra and the dismantling of S.H.I.E.L.D have clearly changed the status quo for this film franchise and it remains to be seen how this will impact future installments.
For viewers who had the good sense to stay for the mid-credits scene, you would have caught a glimpse of two new characters who will be gracing the silver screen in next year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. In the scene, twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, better known as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, appear to be prisoners of Hydra. Quicksilver is shown to have superhuman speed while Scarlet Witch is depicted as having telekinesis. It would not be far off to assume that their powers are the result of Hydra’s experiments on them, much like how Bucky Barnes came to be the Winter Soldier.
What is interesting to note is that the character of Quicksilver will also be making an appearance in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past (Malaysia release date: 22 May 2014). Does this tease a possible alliance between the X-Men and the Avengers? This is not an all-together far-fetched idea. After all, Marvel Comics is well known for having its characters operate in a single shared fictional universe. In fact, most Marvel fans would already know that before Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch joined the Avengers, they were originally members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, which was founded by none other than Magneto. Sadly, a merge between the two superhero teams does not seem likely. Why, you may ask? This is where it would help to understand some basic Marvel movie politics.
In Hollywood, the rights of the two franchises are owned by two different film studios: X-Men and the concept of ‘mutants’ have been licensed out to 20th Century Fox while the Avengers are owned by Marvel Studios, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company. Therefore, it would be legally impossible for a crossover between the X-Men and the Avengers to take place, at least not anytime soon. This would also explain Spider-man’s notable absence in the 2012 film The Avengers; an oddity given that the character is a prominent member of the team in the comics (Columbia Pictures owns the rights to Spider-man).
The result of it all is that you will see two very different takes on the character of Quicksilver over the next few years. X-Men will most probably follow the mutant route while the Avengers will likely place emphasis on Hydra’s role in causing Quicksilver’s powers. Unsurprisingly, Quicksilver will be played by two different actors in the two franchises: Evan Peters in X-Men: Days of Future Past and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Avengers: Age of Ultron. So do not be confused if you notice a disparity between the two films! Both X-Men and Avengers make up two separate entities and are not meant to overlap.
Therefore, while it would certainly be a feast for the eyes to see a collaboration between the X-Men and the Avengers, movie-goers everywhere will just have to be content with two separate universes for now. And until the day arrives when studio hotshots decide to put politics aside, it would seem that Spider-man will just have to deal with being forever alone.