‘WandaVision’: Why Evan Peters’ Casting Made Perfect Sense — It Wasn’t a Mistake
No one disputes that WandaVision was the most buzzed-about TV show of 2021 so far. What some people do dispute is whether the finale really worked, and whether the use of one particular actor was a tricky bait and switch.
That actor is, of course, Evan Peters, whom Marvel fans had known as Quicksilver from the Fox X-Men movies. His appearance on WandaVision melted many minds, and some of those minds say his appearance felt like a cheat in the end, However, some fans and the director of the show dispute that notion.
How Aaron Taylor-Johnson became Evan Peters
This all began when Peters first appeared as Quicksilver in the X-Men movie Days of Future Past in 2014. His turn as the speedster was considered by many to be a highlight of that film, particularly when it came to the kitchen scene where Quicksilver foils Pentagon guards to the strains of Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle.”
He basically repeated that scene in X-Men: Apocalypse before being fairly quickly dispatched in Dark Phoenix.
The next year, Quicksilver was in another movie, but he looked very different. That was because he was played by Aaron Taylor Johnson in Avengers: Age of Ultron. At that time, Disney did not have the rights to the X-Men characters, so they had to make up their own version of Quicksilver without referring to him as a mutant. This Quicksilver did not last long, being gunned down in the final battle.
In the ensuing years, Disney bought 20th Century Fox, which meant they could finally use the X-Men characters. Speculation ran high as to when the mutants could join the MCU. Would it be in The Eternals? In Deadpool 3, whenever that comes out? Or would it be somewhere else unexpected?
That last answer seemed to hold true when Peters made his grand entrance at the end of episode 5 of WandaVision with Kat Dennings’ immediately famous line “She recast Pietro?”
‘WandaVision’: Why using Evan Peters wasn’t a mistake
The buzz at the end of Pietro’s first appearance was deafening, arguably almost to the level of Luke Skywalker’s appearance at the end of season 2 of The Mandalorian. Was this going to be the entry of the mutants at last? Seemingly not. The WandaVision finale told us he was just some guy named Ralph Bohner. To some fans that seemed like not only a bait and switch, but a lame bait and switch with a lame joke.
Not everyone thinks so, however, on Reddit, a topic-starter said, “I think if they had cast like, Freddie Prinze Jr for the role or something then it would have taken away a lot of the ‘is this her actual brother?”‘mystery we got. A different casting would have been an obvious “she is being tricked” – everyone would have seen it coming. Evan Peters brought some credibility to the idea that this WAS her brother (albeit from another universe).”
Another fan said the maneuver actually put viewers in the shoes of the people of Westview, writing, “Think about two things. One, we had to believe that it could actually be ‘Quicksilver’ so that we could believe that Wanda believed it. Two, do you feel misled, tricked, and manipulated? So you have the same feelings of the people of Westview?”
Is Quicksilver the new Mandarin?
One other comparison Quicksilver/Evan Peters brought to mind was the MCU’s use of The Mandarin in Iron Man 3. Trailers and the first half of the movie made fans believe the Mandarin was the big bad of that film, and fans were delighted because the Mandarin has a strong following. So those fans felt betrayed when the Mandarin turned out to be an actor named Trevor.
WandaVision director Matt Shakman brought this up in a podcast with director and comics aficionado Kevin Smith, as reported by The Direct. The director’s advice was as follows:
“Playing with expectations, turning things around, is always enjoyable, and what I would say to the Marvel fan who’s a little disappointed that the X-Men didn’t show up, or the multiverse didn’t show up clearly right there, is that they’re coming. You know they’re coming, right? You’ve got a movie called ‘Multiverse of Madness.’ You’ve got mutants announced at Comic-Con a year and a half ago. Like, they’re coming. And guess who else is coming? The Mandarin is coming! He is [going to be] the villain in Shang-Chi! So your patience will be rewarded.”