Across Two Worlds

Finally, everyone will know the name Maximoff. <p>The Maximoff twins, children of Magneto, have a long history in both X-Men and Avengers comics. They've both been villains and heroes and back and forth several times over. Now they're once again juggling two worlds, but this time it's two film worlds.. <P>Today came news that Whedon and Marvel Studios have almost certainly found their Wanda Maximoff, Scarlet Witch, in Elizabeth Olsen. Rumored for the role for the last couple of months, it seems Samuel L. Jackson let slip the confirmation. Likewise, <i>Kickass</i> star Aaron Johnson has spoken at length about playing Quicksilver for Marvel Studios, something not yet 100% confirmed by either party. <p>Of course, we know that Quicksilver also appears in <b>X-Men: Days of Future Past</b> from Fox, by way of Evan Peters. That film has already completed principal photography. <p>So how does that happen? They're a peculiar case, as they're mutants and the children of Magneto, and would thus seem to fall into the Fox-licensed X-Men franchise, yet they're both closely associated with the Avengers, and were in fact some of the earliest recruits to the team in the comic books. Basically, if Fox wanted to use them, they could, or if Marvel Studios wanted to, they could as well. And it looks like they both want to. <p>How is this all going to work? Details are still very fuzzy, but here are our five best guesses, focused primarily on Pietro, as he's the only confirmed one appearing in both.

MARVEL BLINKS (NO, NOT THAT BLINK)

Studios often play games of chicken with coveted release dates, and it appears Marvel and Fox may be involved in a new sort of game. If <a href=http://www.hitfix.com/motion-captured/why-are-fox-and-marvel-having-a-showdown-over-x-men-and-the-avengers-2><i>HitFix</i></a>'s report is correct, Fox's game may be a dangerous one, but possibly also a smart one. This gets <b>Days of Future Past</b> into the conversation with <b>The Avengers</b>, and that can't be a bad place to be for Singer and the studio. <p>After all, did <i>you</i> ever expect to be talking or reading this much about Quicksilver, of all characters? <p>A prolonged face-off will generate the sort of free media that will be invaluable for a movie brand trying to rebuild itself in a post-<b>Avengers</b> world, and maybe Fox forces Whedon and Marvel to move in a new direction and find a couple of other characters in their library of thousands to take Pietro and Wanda's place. <p>Of course, when you look at Marvel, currently running off back-to-back billion dollar-plus entries in their franchise, and Fox's X-Men — whose last two entries grossed just over 700 million dollars worldwide <i>combined</i> — it doesn't seem too likely that Marvel would toss aside their plans for something as small as what could be a glorified cameo.

FIRST NAMES VS. CODENAMES

This may be an easy way of doing things — one studio uses codenames, one uses real names. In fact, it may go a step further: In <i>X-Men: The Last Stand</i>, more than one mutant was used in a cameo, such as "Psylocke," with questionable link to her comic book version — she had no lines, was never named on camera, but was simply credited as such. <p>If Quicksilver appears in an action sequence in <b>Days of Future Past</b>, but isn't named, that may be problem solved. If he's called "Pietro" in the X-Men flick, again, only call him "Quicksilver" in the <b>Avengers</b> sequel. <p>Or more likely, if Quicksilver is how he's identified in <b>DoFP</b>, well, Whedon's Avengers are mostly on a first name basis anyway — with Hawkeye and Black Widow mostly going by Clint and Natasha — so maybe Marvel eschews the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver names all together. What you have left is simply two fast characters, with some likely similarities in looks. It may not be perfect, but it's a way to present the same characters in an ever-so-slightly different way.

EMBRACE THE LINK

Highly unlikely, and at this point it would likely be viewed as Marvel doing Fox a huge favor — but as a nod to the fans, simply play fast and loose with the idea that it is, in fact, the same character in both franchises. Maybe at different stages in life, and perhaps with no more than a wink and a nod. <p>In <i>Iron Man 2</i>, there was an elephant in the room: James "Rhodey" Rhodes had been recast. Gone was Terrence Howard from the first film, with Don Cheadle taking his place. To address it, there was a simple, effective, and a bit cheeky, line right when Cheadle took the screen. <p>"Well, it's me, and I'm here, so get over it and move on! " <p>With that one simple phrase, Marvel found a way to acknowledge the change without <i>directly</i> acknowledging it. We could see something similar done with Quicksilver in <b>Avengers 2</b>. All it would take is one character during the first interaction saying something like, "You look different than I expected" or "Due to his speed, an accurate description of the hero known as Quicksilver has been impossible to get, leading to conflicting reports of what he actually looks like." With that, you leave it alone, and squelch any confused outcry from fans.

INHUMANS?

So Fox has the rights to Marvel's mutant characters, and the whole origin/mutant gene aspect of the franchise tied up. If only Marvel had another race of strange beings with extraordinary and varied superhuman powers at their disposal. <p>Oh wait, they do – the Inhumans. Now if only Quicksilver has some historical ties to them… <p>Oh wait… <p>Forgive us our fun and yes, of course, Pietro’s comic book ties to the Inhumans is just as an in-law and not a member of their race (though in later years, he <i>did</i> wind up exposed, repeatedly to the power-giving Terrigen crystals), and hardcore fans would have to forgive that tweak, at least a nod exists to the source material and making Pietro and Wanda Inhuman rather than mutants is an elegant solution in its simplicity. <p>Add to it that Kevin Feige has made it repeatedly clear that the Inhumans are on their radar and a priority for the Marvel movie universe, and you’ve got a possibility one can’t ignore. They're also picking up heat in Marvel's publishing line, with a near takeover of the Marvel Universe in the <i>Inhumanity</i> event starting at the end of 2013. <p>Heck, maybe the Inhumans/Terrigen Mists will be a central plot point in the conclusion of Phase 2, seeding a new franchise for Phase 3?

JUST DO IT

As we touched on earlier, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently in a completely different league from Fox's X-Men franchise. Maybe that changes with <i>Days of Future Past</i>, but it doesn't seem like the billions of dollars in Marvel Studios/Disney's war chest will be diminishing anytime soon. <p>So, just do it. If Fox uses Quicksilver — or even both Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch — just turn around and use them too, Marvel Studios. Don't acknowledge that they've ever been on screen before in any capacity. Sure, you can't call them mutants (or mention daddy dearest), but you were most likely never going to be able to do that anyway. Take these twin super powered Avengers and build a whole darn other franchise on them, if you want. <p>You have 1.5 billion reasons to just trust Whedon to get it right, despite any potential obstacles — like another studio jumping the gun. He called Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver first. No backsies.

How QUICKSILVER & SCARLET WITCH Can Be Cross-Franchise Movie Stars with AVENGERS and X-MEN

Date: 03 October 2013 Time: 06:00 PM ET