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Why is Quicksilver in Two Movies? "X-Men: Days of Future Past" and Avengers: Age of Ultron"?

Why is Quicksilver in two different movies played by two different actors? Find out the confusing reason why two studios are fighting for the silver speedster.

Note: This article was written in 2014 and has been updated with the Fox acquisition and more clarity on the rights to the X-Men in general. Skip to the end if you want to read the latest.

Recently we got a great question by Ms. Mariah:

Q: I do wonder why there are two Quicksilvers? One in the Avengers and one in X-Men.

The short answer is that both Marvel and Twentieth Century Fox say they own Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, so both studios are using the characters. Back when I made the Marvel Character Movie Infographic, I noted that the characters are the property of both Marvel Studios and Avengers. That's almost true. Each company says they own the characters for different reasons.

Who Are Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch?

  • Scarlet Witch (aka Wanda Maximoff) a mutant that controls probability
  • Quicksilver (aka Pietro Maximoff) a mutant that moves at super-speed
  • Both are children of Magneto (aka Erik Lehnsherr)
Scarlet Witch (aka Wanda Maximoff) and Quicksilver (aka Pietro Maximoff) are the twin kids of Magneto. Quicksilver can run around at super-human speed while Scarlet Witch can manipulate probability to create anything she imagines, from cars falling apart to having kids with an android.

They were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first appeared in The X-Men #4 (1964) as members of Magneto's "Brotherhood of Evil Mutants," along with Toad and Mastermind. So, technically, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are bad guys.
They don't become heroes until Avengers #16 (1965), when Captain America forms the second Avengers team using villains along with former villain Hawkeye. The Maximoff twins go on to be primary members of the Avengers, and Scarlet Witch is a member of "West Coast Avengers" and the "Defenders."

Who Owns the Rights to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch?

  • Marvel Studios owns the rights to Avengers
  • 20th Century Fox owns the rights to mutants
Back in the 90s, Marvel licensed out some of their characters to different studios for some quick cash. Twentieth Century Fox producer Lauren Shuler Donner purchased the film rights for X-Men back in 1994, but Marvel kept the rights to the name "Avengers" while licensing off individual members of the team, like Captain America. The X-Men movie came out in 2000 and took the world by storm. Fox had a hit and firmly planted a flag in the sand for the rights to use the term "mutant." They're not giving it up any time soon.

In 2005, Avi Arad, the CEO of Marvel Studios, announced that they were planning to do a bunch of standalone movies that would lead to Avengers. It worked and they made the monumentally successful film Marvel's The Avengers. Marvel now firmly owns the rights to any characters that are Avengers. But it created an interesting vacuum.

If all mutants belong to Fox and all Avengers belong to Marvel Studios, what about mutants that are Avengers? Does that mean the studios have to work together? Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, says no. "There are only a handful of characters that occupy that middle ground," Feige said. "Iron Man is not going to show up over there [at Fox] and Magneto is not going to show up over here [at Marvel]. But there are a few gray points even after many years of negotiations … and that only happens with a character like Quicksilver, who has been a part of the X-Men, the son of Magneto in those comics, but also a primary Avenger."

So, who owns the characters? Apparently, they both do. So the big question is: where are they going to show up?

How is Marvel Studios Using Them?

  • Aaron Taylor-Johnson cast in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
All around geek hero Joss Whedon wrote them into Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and he's being played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Whedon told Jimmy Fallon, "There are new characters. I've already said that we're going to have a brother-sister team, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, who were great mainstays of The Avengers when I was reading the comics as a kid. Besides the fact that I grew up reading them, their powers are very visually interesting. One of the problems I had on the first one was, everybody basically had punchy powers. 'I can hit,' 'I can also hit.' 'I can hit harder' That can get boring in a two hour movie. Hopefully, it didn't get too boring. But coming into the second one, he's got super speed. She can weave little spells and a little telekinesis, get inside your head. There's good stuff that they can do that will help keep it fresh."

If Marvel can't call them mutants or have their father be Magneto, then who are they? The answer is in another movie. They showed up in the post-credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier when Baron Von Strucker is talking about Hydra's super-secret project of volunteers. Most are dead, and Strucker says, "The dead will be buried so deep their ghosts won't be able to find them." When asked about the survivors, we see "the Twins." In two glass cells are a dude moving really fast and a girl (Elizabeth Olsen) floating boxes. Not much to look at, but if you know the characters, it's really, really exciting. They're not mutants, but part of some Hydra experiment. Taylor-Johnson said they're abandoned. "The thing to think about that [sic] he’s an abandoned child." he said, "Him and his sister are abandoned and they live in Eastern Europe. There’s more character aspects that I’m interested in than the power aspect." Marvel's Quicksilver isn't a mutant and Magneto isn't his Dad. Scarlett Witch will also be in Avengers 2.

Marvel has big plans for both of these guys.

Update: SPOILER After Quicksilver is killed in Avengers: Age of Ultron it remains to be seen if he'll be back. After all, Coulson survived Avengers.

How is Fox Using Them?

    • Evan Peters cast in X-Men Days of Future Past (2014)
    Quicksilver is going to be in X-Men Days of Future Past (2014) and he's being played by Evan Peters. According to producer Simon Kinberg, he has one scene and that's it. "That is the bulk of Quicksilver’s presence in this film. They need somebody who can help them get in and out of somewhere. And the idea is that Logan knew him in the future and so they go to try to find his younger self. The way we conceived him is a sort of an ADD kid. Everything he does is just popping and zipping around. He doesn’t take anything seriously. He’s not in a situation for more than a few seconds. So it infused the movie with an energy that was really useful for us."

    So, Fox isn't using him for much. Bryan Singer also confirmed that Scarlet Witch is not in the movie. So he's probably not a twin. Quicksilver is named Maximoff though. The weird thing is Evan Peters is 27 and Michael Fassbender, who plays Magneto, is 37. So, unless they're doing the old "I'm my own grandpa" thing, Quicksilver isn't Magneto's son. Fox's Quicksilver is a mutant, but Magneto isn't his Dad. Scarlet Witch will not be in X-Men.

    What About the Costumes?

    Both Fox and Marvel are playing conservative with the comic book costume. They both have white hair, but only one has the blue outfit. Neither has a lightning bolt.

    Now you know the whole sordid and confusing story. Some have asked if this is going to lead to a partnership with Fox and Marvel, but it's doubtful. While X-Men franchise producer Lauren Shuler Donner said she'd love to have a cross-over a year ago, but since then tensions have been slowly escalating as the movies get closer.

    Update: In Days of Future Past Pietro says, "They say you can manipulate metal. My mom used to know a guy who could do that." Many have said this is a reference to Erik being his father. It still doesn't explain the age, but he could be playing a teenager. It's happened before. So, it's possible Magneto is Quicksilver's father.

    At IGN Simon Kinberg says, “The plan was to use him in [X-Men: Apocalypse] and have him expand his part and grow into the franchise. That was the thought. But now people have seen the movie and he’s one of the most beloved things in the film universally, there’s no question that he’s going to be a big part of the next movie.” So his "one scene" will be much larger in the next movie.

    Update 2X-Men: Apocalypse brings Quicksilver back and he says "Magneto is my father". Go figure.

    Update 3: Since this article was written Disney bought 20th Century Fox and officially completed the deal in March 2019. But Fox had a number of entanglements (not the Jada Pinkett kind) with the rights. Multiple reports suggest that while Marvel owns Fox they still don't own the rights to the X-Men.

    But they can use the term mutant now. They've used that to retcon Ms. Marvel as a mutant and keep Namor a mutant. However they can't use the term X-Men or characters that are predominantly known as X-Men like Cyclops. They can use some that are closely associated with proties they own. For example, they can use Scarlet Witch in WandaVision because it also stars fellow Avenger Vision. They can use Professor X because he's closely associated with the Illuminati which first appeared in New Avengers #7 (2005). But Scarlet Witch can't appear in a solo movie (although several outlets have reported rumors of one).

    Apparently, the rights to the X-Men are tied up with various producers and actors. Recently in the MarvelVision podcast former editor-in-chief of Birth.Movies.Death., Devin Faraci, broke it down.  Twentieth Century Fox's contractual duties to actors in the X-Men franchise have carried over to Disney/Marvel and are in force till 2025. "The reason why is because the contractual situation with the original Fox stuff is going to be in effect until 2025," he said. "...And so if they don't want to use those actors, then they have to wait until [those] contracts all expire." Marvel can't recast, announce or start working on a movie that consists of roles held by the predominant actors of the Fox X-Men franchise. Because they're using the original actors, the upcoming Deadpool sequel and Professor Xavier in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness are exempted.

    This is just a rumor for now. But it does fit with what Kevin Feige told IGN about bringing the X-Men to the MCU. "It'll be a while," he said in 2019. "It's all just beginning and the five-year plan that we've been working on, we were working on before any of that was set. So really it's much more, for us, less about specifics of when and where [the X-Men will appear] right now and more just the comfort factor and how nice it is that they're home. That they're all back. But it will be a very long time."

    How do you feel about Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch being in two movie franchises? Does it make sense now? Would you like to see the two studios work together?

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    1. At think at this point, placing them together wouldn't work.
      I like the way the Avengers and Marvel will handle them and was excited to see them in the final credits of Captain America.

    2. I'm a little apprehensive about them appearing in Avengers 2. With the first movie all the main characters had a separate movie to establish them (even though they changed actors with the Hulk) but Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch and Vision they seem to just be chucking out there into the movie with no setup. I'm not sure how well that will work, especially since your average non-fanboy probably won't know who they are.

    3. Quicksilver has one of the coolest, iconic haircuts in comics and both studios don't seem to be getting it right!

    4. my first thought... he just ran from set to set to be in both. i knew they were offspring of magneto, sort of... i think it will be interesting and don't think it will hurt any of the story-lines. i read somewhere that they were trying to introduce more unknown characters to the film, so we can know them.

    5. Hi guys, thanks for the explanation! Although it makes me a little sad that 20th Century Fox is using Quicksilver for just one scene and he's not even going to be Magneto's son. *sigh, another Bryan Singer comic book movie.

    6. Now my head hurts. I wish Marvel never sold their rights, but then again there might not be a Marvel studio if X-men was not made. On the Bright side, as a DC fan I can rejoice that Batman and Superman can be in the same movie with Wonder Woman, and not worry about if Fox wants to make a Martian Manhunter or Cyborg movie. DC=WB

    7. I like their names. Guess we'll see how it all plays out.

    8. Seems to me there is too much money to be made for Fox and Marvel to allow a melding of characters

    9. This is so interesting, that they will double-bill.

    10. When Quicksilver meets Magneto (and their powers), he said: "My mom knew someone like that", so maybe is Magneto his father :0

    11. Ooo I haven’t seen this movie yet. So maybe he is his Dad. The age thing would be weird though. Thanks Javiera!

    12. Quicksilver will once again return in the next Xmen franchise, Apocalypse.

    13. "Neither has a lightning bolt." The Avengers version, in the pic here, certainly looks like he has one. Maybe it wraps around, but from the front it's clearly a lightning bolt.

    14. Good point Felderburg. There’s definitely the impression of one, but nothing like the comic book version. Maybe it’s just the angle.

    15. Its stupid it limits the creative powers. They need to crossover. Although X-Men DOFP was a phenomenal film they are limited

    16. Just because Evan Peters is 27 doesn't mean his character is...it wouldn't be the first time a 20-something played a teen.

    17. Besides...he did look like a teen in the movie and it was hinted that magneto was his dad anyway. Where he discovers magneto's ability to control metal and quicksilver says "my mum knew a guy who could do that".
      And just because scarlet witch wasnt mentioned or shown in x men dofp doesnt mean she wasnt in the same house in her room texting boys or taking selfies...oh no wait. It was 1973...

    18. He did have a little sister in the movie. She is sitting in his lap as he watches Magneto on TV. While his mother in the background stares in shock.

    19. In all honesty if they were to work together. They would have to ultimately redo the x men movies and then tie it all together.

    20. Editing is arguably the a lot of important aspect of blur or video production. It is in the editing, the art of alignment pictures and chat and sounds, that a accomplished blur artefact is able to acquaint a adventure aboriginal envisioned by its writer, and after by a administrator and ambassador to its advised audience.

    21. He's fast metabolism will make him age faster than his sister. Duh!!!

    22. Lol, I bet Evan didn't play Aaron's friend in Kick Ass 2 because he probably felt snobby that he got to play an actual hero role. Then Aaron got the same role in a much more hype movie. #Rekt. Lol.

    23. They could at least go for some coherence between the stories. But I do know Quicksilver... and Scarlet Witch... are both Avengers and X-Men. And the costume in the coming Avengers movie is pretty good. Better than these, hehe.

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    25. Polaris is the only child of magneto. magneto lied to the twins saying he is their father so they would join the mutant brotherhood

    26. You just said the witch wasn't in both movies?

    27. right. No way they can just push them together now. All these catastrophic events happening on the same earth and neither one arrived to help the other. The amount of plot holes would be unbearable and it would lead up to a ultimate fail

    28. It will be another 10 years until these franchises come together. A total reboot would be needed. Both are too far in with their own story lines so doing it now would make no sense

    29. And then there's Beast.

    30. So can Marvel Studios like Dr. Doom as an Iron Man or Avengers villain? He's way too big a villain in the MU to be confined to just the Fantastic Four franchise.

    31. No, he's strictly a property of 20th Century Fox. He is a major villain of the Avengers so you make a great point.

    32. I really like wolverine n I hope to see more wolverine films without the x-men although I believe there will be another x-men cause of when they showed apocalypse at the end credits of days of futures past, as for quick silver it is confusing to me with him being in avengers n not considered a mutant just a test subject.

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    34. I'm a fan of all Marvel related movies. Please figure out a way to start combining character stories ASAP. The way they put Avengers together was smart and exciting. Now I only hope to see combos like Hulk & Wolverine. Dr. Doom & Magneto villian team up vs. Fantastic 4 & Avengers with some Xmen like Wolverine and Colossus maybe Daredevil or Spiderman to really make us superfans go ape shht. This happens I promise to pay for a movie ticket and buy the blueray and not only stream online for free as i usually do.

    35. Evan Peters is playing 18 excellent obviously because he is living at home with his mom

    36. But why in avengers quiksilver is orphan but not in x-men?

    37. I'm guessing fox and disney struck a deal going by what happened

    38. SO why is he killed off? Ggggrrrr...

    39. We're exactly 50% of the way to a cross-over movie, that's what you're actually saying here. That's progress, it's not negative.

      First off, the Avengers already have waaaayyy too many expensive, successful actors. They can't add Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart onto that invoice. However....maybe an Andrew Garfield or a Paul Rudd?? There's a decent chance they might make the roster or be in a cross-over. But right now, the Avengers is just a way for Marvel to make everyone (other than Iron Man) relevant to the marvel universe. The other heroes don't need the Avengers, but at some point, the Avengers movies might take a downturn in public interest, and if that coincides with another big name taking a drop, who's to say it won't result in a cross-over?

      Again, we are already 50% of the way there to getting a cross-over. It's a reasonable assumption that Superman vs Batman's success will inform the decision making process as to a Marvel crossover. Wait and see, we still have tons of story to get through before they need to do it :)

    40. I'm an original kind of guy and grew up reading specifically Mabel comics. I took a wild guess about quicksilver and who he was and I was right. I'd like marvel and especially Stan to stick to the script!! And never deviate it means a lot to the old school fans of Marvel

    41. That's a good point and the thought of a movie explaining the whole magneto quicksilver scarlet dad thing wouldn't just be awesome but freakin brilliant!! Good show mate!

    42. Yo!!!! Hell yeah .. Im a big fan of this suggestion.. I remember spiderman being tested as an avenger by trying to capture the hulk. If they did the cross over thing maaan I'd go nutzz

    43. It doesn't matter what Fox says, they're Marvel characters and they will always be Marvel characters, not Fox characters. And it doesn't matter what happens in the film industry, it matters what happens in the source material. The twins will always be mutants, and Magneto will always be their father, whether the movies admit that or not.


    Thanks for commenting!.