The Iron Man 3 had its Los Angeles premiere last night, and that means that there were plenty of folks with an inside line on the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe walking down a gauntlet of reporters. It’s probably inevitable that somebody would drop a bombshell on the red carpet. When the dust cleared, Joss Whedon was standing alone, in his hand a direct quote about how the first draft of The Avengers 2 he’d locked in a new brother/sister duo for the film.
Before you go out and cross reference sibling teams and the Avengers in comics, you should probably just be told that the very likely culprits are Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Which is very, very interesting from a licensing standpoint. I swear.
Here’s the relevant quote. When asked, if The Avengers 2 already has a first draft, how much he expects it to change going forward, Whedon said that he definitely was expecting it to evolve, but:
I’ve got these two characters, you know, I’ve got these two of my favorite characters from the comic books, a brother/sister act. They’re in the movie. That’s exciting. You know you can lock certain things in.
As MTV Splash Page points out, there are a few well known Marvel sibling teams, but they’re predominantly mutants, and the only ones with any ties to the Avengers are Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, the twin children of the X-Men villain Magneto. And if those characters wound up in The Avengers 2, it would be a big calling of “dibs” on the part of Disney.
See, it’s well known that a lot of companies other than Disney currently own the movie rights to some of Marvel’s biggest characters. Spider-Man, and his assorted villains and supporting cast, for example, remain under the control of Sony Pictures. While 20th Century Fox has recently relinquished control of Daredevil after opting not to rush a reboot or sequel into production just to keep their rights, and hasn’t really done much to reboot the Fantastic Four franchise since announcing it would do so in 2009, the company’s commitment to their X-Men franchise shows now sign of stopping. It’s been made very clear by Marvel Entertainment that the Marvel Cinematic Universe cannot bring mutant characters into the fold until Fox deliberately relinquishes its rights or allows the X-Men franchise to lay fallow for enough time that their licensing contract expires.
But fans have always wondered where that leaves Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, two mutant characters, the children of Magneto, who have always been more associated with the Avengers than either the X-Men or the Brotherhood of Mutants, though they have at times been members of all three groups. Do they count as mutants? Or do they count as Avengers? When the twin siblings’s powers manifested (Wanda has the ability to control probability in addition to an innate talent for magic, and Pietro has speed powers) they were attacked by nearby humans, and rescued by Magneto, though none of them, at the time, knew that they were all family. Pressed into the Brotherhood of Mutants because they felt they owed the supervillain for saving them, they would eventually abandon his mission. Shortly thereafter they were recruited for the second generation of the Avengers, still lead by Captain America, but comprised of Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and another reformed villain more familiar to the Marvel Cinematic Unvierse: Hawkeye.
Folks in high places at Marvel Entertainment have indicated that the strange place of overlap that Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are in means that they’re sort of up for grabs. Which just adds to the evidence that when Whedon says “brother/sister act,” he means Wanda and Pietro Maximoff. Given the licensing requirements, I’d be really interested to see how they’re inserted into the MCU. And, of course, I’m very excited to see this confirmation, at the very least, of at least a second female Avenger.
(via MTV Splash Page.)