Love or hate the “WandaVision” series finale, most fans can agree the Evan Peters casting fake out was a storytelling low point of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first Disney+ original series. The introduction of Peters as a recast Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver in episode five sent shockwaves through the MCU fandom as it was the first inclination that “WandaVision” might be dabbling with the multiverse. MCU fans were already on the lookout for multiverse clues, since before the series started airing it had been confirmed that “WandaVision” would lead into “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness,” where Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda/Scarlet Witch has a starring role.
Peters starred as Quicksilver in Fox’s “X-Men” series, while Aaron Taylor-Johnson starred as Quicksilver opposite Olsen’s Scarlet Witch in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Johnson’s Quicksilver was killed off in the movie. Following the Disney-Fox merger, the MCU had free rein to use Fox iterations of the “X-Men” if it wanted to, thus Peters’ appearance ignited fan theories about the multiverse and the possibility of other Fox “X-Men” actors like Patrick Stewart or Michael Fassbender appearing on “WandaVision.”
None of these fan theories turned out to be true, as Evan Peters was not playing his “X-Men” character after all. As the “WandaVision” series finale revealed, Peters was playing a random Westview citizen named Ralph Bohner who had been put under a spell by Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn). Agatha was controlling Ralph and having him play the part of a recast Pietro. That Marvel would fake out viewers by trotting out Peters under the identity of his former “X-Men” character has resulted in fan backlash. Even Olsen admits in an interview with Variety she initially thought Peters’ casting had something to do with the merger and his “X-Men” character coming over to the MCU.
“When we heard that Evan was going to do it, my mind was blown,” Olsen recently told Variety. “’This is the first time we’re merging! This is crazy!’ And then to use it in such a clever way as [showrunner] Jac [Schaeffer] does was so satisfying. Working with Evan playing this version of Pietro was just so fun and weird and funny…Jac, I loved it so much. I’m so grateful for that.”
While Olsen suspected Peters’ casting had something to do with the merging of the Fox and Marvel worlds, she did not outright assume the casting suggested a larger multiverse because she had no idea about the MCU’s plan for a multiverse while she was filming the bulk of “WandaVision.”
“I didn’t know about the multiverse when we were filming this. So I wouldn’t assume that that’s what was happening,” Olsen said. “I thought it was just a clever way to have a Pietro. I didn’t understand the larger plan of the multiverse until I started working on the ‘Doctor Strange’ sequel.”
Olsen said she didn’t know she had a part in the “Doctor Strange” sequel until right before the “WandaVision” team returned for two months of filming during the pandemic, thus she had no clue about the larger MCU multiverse storyline until then. As for Schaeffer, the “WandaVision” creator said she came up with the idea to cast Peters in a fake out role with co-executive producer Mary Livanos.
“The writers room was so behind [it],” Schaeffer told Variety. “It brought us so much joy and delight, the possibility that we could do this thing. It’s one of the few things in this series that I was like, yeah, I was expecting a really big reaction. Everything else, I’ve been sort of floored by the enormity of the reactions, but that was the thing that I’ve been sitting on for two years, just being like, ‘Just wait! Just wait!’”
Head over to Variety’s website to read more of Schaeffer and Olsen’s thoughts about “WandaVision” following last week’s series finale. All nine episodes of the MCU series are now available to stream on Disney+.
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