Marvel Controversy: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch

Scott Iwaniec

As promised, I will address this issue because it is a big one. When Joss Wheedon first announced that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will be characters in Age of Ultron, the community expressed a simultaneous mesh of extreme excitement and extreme confusion.

Marvel ControversyFor those who don’t know, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are characters commonly used in X-Men. They are the twin children of Magneto who naturally play important roles as villains to the X-Men in comics and cartoons. Of course, one would think that Avengers using an X-Men character would be leaning toward an Avengers/X-Men crossover film. If you are one of those people, prepare for extreme disappointment.

Marvel comic’s characters are split up between three major studios: Disney (Avengers), Fox (X-Men/Fantastic Four) and Sony (Spiderman). These rights by nature belong to Disney but other studios gain characters by contractual means.

Often times, studios are required to produce a certain number of films in a certain number of years, or rights go back to Disney. This is why we have so many pointless Ghost Rider films.

In these contracts it states that studios cannot reference, nor create, their own version of characters or ideas from either of the others, which raises the big red flag: How can the Avengers use Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch if they are X-Men?

These two characters actually belong to both Fox and Marvel because both of these characters in the comics have dominant roles involving each superhero team, however Quicksilver is seen traditionally more with the X-Men and Scarlet Witch mostly with the Avengers.

Here’s the catch: Disney cannot use the terms X-Men, Magneto, or mutant because of their contract. Since this is the case, why has Marvel chosen to use these characters when they are forbidden to include their backstory and motivation entirely?

This literally demands complete re-creations of the twins, which is why so many people are up in arms about the idea. But wait…There’s more. Just days after this news was revealed, Fox announced they will also be using Quicksilver in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past. Yes ladies and gentlemen, we will get the same character, played by two different actors, for two rival studios, who cannot acknowledge the other’s existence.

This is a perfect example of how not to treat the average movie going audience who doesn’t know the rules behind these contracts. I can easily see this ending up in frustration, however, I believe in the Avengers to do well with this character because of Kevin Feige’s mysterious master plan, even if it means changing the character.

I personally don’t believe they would go out of their way to use these characters if they weren’t going to do something ground breaking with them. And just between us, rumor has it that X-Men will only use him to say one line, just to flip the finger to Marvel, giving him no real purpose whatsoever.

My advice to everyone is start to understand comic book films more from a business perspective, because we may need to in order to avoid chaotic confusion in the future.