Why Is Quicksilver Played By Different Actors In Avengers 2 And X-Men?

Ryan Leston
UK Movies Writer

If you’ve seen ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, you might be wondering why Quicksilver - the new superhero blessed with superhuman speed - is entirely different to one we saw in ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’. 

Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays Quicksilver in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, and Evan Peters plays him in ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’. They have completely different costumes, accents, time periods, and entirely different origins, but why? 

[Watch Avengers 2 For Only £6 at Vue]

Maybe it’s about time we brought you up to speed.

Marvel Studios vs 20th Century Fox

The big problem is that Marvel Studios and Fox share the rights to Quicksilver – aka Pietro Maximoff - and his sister, the Scarlet Witch. 

Back in the 1990s before Marvel had made a single movie, the company sold off the film rights to some of their biggest comic book characters with Fox snapping up the rights to the X-Men.

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Essentially, this granted Fox the film rights to all of Marvel’s mutants including the super-siblings Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters, made his movie debut in 2014′s ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’, while Scarlet Witch is yet to appear in the X-Men films.

Here’s where it gets a bit complicated. While Marvel sold off the rights to some of their biggest properties, they actually retained the film rights to ‘The Avengers’ and the characters in the team.

Since Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch were also members of The Avengers in the comics, it meant Marvel also retained the rights to use them in their movies too.

However, due to the rights issues, there have to be certain subtle differences between the two franchise’s incarnations of the same character.

X-Men’s Quicksilver

The first to arrive on the scene was Evan Peters as the more American-sounding Peter Maximoff in the 1970s-set ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’.

During the events of ‘Days of Future Past’, Wolverine and the gang are forced to spring Magneto out of a high-security prison and they recruit Quicksilver to get the job done.

His super-fast speed certainly helped out and it led to one of the most impressive scenes in the entire movie, when the young mutant zooms around a prison kitchen in awesome slow-motion. See how they made the scene in the video below.

Because Fox owns the rights to the X-Men, Quicksilver’s origin as the mutant son of Magneto was retained, even if Michael Fassbender’s magnetic supervillain didn’t quite twig on at the time.

Avengers’ Quicksilver

Introducing Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the Eastern European version of Quicksilver. But while Pietro’s name (and accent) are more in line with his comic book origins, that’s about as far as it goes. 

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ gives both Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch an entirely new origin story. Growing up in Eastern Europe without their family, the siblings are forced to look out for one another. And when an opportunity arises to be part of something greater – experiments carried out by the Hydra agent Baron Von Strucker – they decide to take the plunge.

The big difference here is that Marvel is unable to refer to the twins as ‘mutants’, instead using the term ‘miracles’ to describe their superpowers. So the powers are the same, but the origins are entirely different.

But why is there so much fuss about the super-speedy mutant?

The Importance of Being Quicksilver

Although rumours suggested that Quicksilver was added into ‘Days of Future Past’ late in the development process, director Bryan Singer was eager to explain that really wasn’t the case.

“Quicksilver was always in our script,” he said in an interview with Empire Magazine. Of course, he was asked whether Quicksilver’s addition was in response to Joss Whedon casting Aaron Taylor-Johnson in ‘Avengers’ sequel. But he claims that wasn’t the case.

“Marvel were informed early on that I was using him,” he added. “The way it’ll play out in our movie versus what I believe they are going to do is so different. This is not an enormous role - he’s only in one beat of the movie.”

But what did Joss Whedon think of Quicksilver’s inclusion in ‘Days of Future Past’? It seems he wasn’t quite as thrilled as the rest of us.

“Months after I started, they were like, [Days Of Future Past] just changed Juggernaut to Quicksilver,” he said. “I’m like, ‘what?!’ I was never thrilled.”

Still, the super-fast Marvel mutant has now gone on to star in two of the biggest superhero movies in the last couple of years… albeit played by two different actors.

But which one was better? Let us know what you think in the comments below…

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ heads to cinemas on 23 April 2015.

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Picture Credit: Marvel/20th Century Fox