As was rumored for a long time, Quicksilver didn’t make it through the Age Of Ultron. There had to be some stakes, and Pietro Maximoff ended up being the character who sacrificed himself. It makes sense considering how impractical his powers are in a movie; either he’s solving every problem in nanoseconds and rendering most conflicts useless, or he’s slacking off and not doing all the cool deus ex machina sh*t he could be doing.
Both Joss Whedon and Marvel head Kevin Feige have commented in recent interviews on their decision to kill off the character. As Feige explained to MTV:
“It adds stakes to the ending of the film,” he said, adding that it also serves as a way “to show repercussions to Ultron’s actions, and also in a way to solidify Scarlet Witch’s character, and Wanda’s arc in the movie and where we’ll see her in the next films.”
Wait, so they fridged a male character to give a female character something to fight for? That’s different and yet completely familiar.
Feige went on to say Quicksilver died in every draft of the script, although they filmed some scenes with him standing with the rest of the team to keep the news of his absence from leaking (oops, it still did). Joss Whedon also confirmed those red herring scenes on The Empire Podcast, where he broke down quite a bit of behind the scenes details. Here’s the part about Quicksilver, as transcribed by Vulture:
“I knew that it would be resonant, work better and matter more ,” Whedon said. “We did shoot him in the last scene in an outfit with his sister, and we did shoot him waking up from his, Ahh, I didn’t really die from these 47 bullet wounds! — and we shot something else with that as well. But the intent was always, We’re gonna earn this and then you have to stand by it.”
Whedon went on to say that the only way he would have let Quicksilver survive would be if movie execs forced it. Good thing he has podcasts to reveal this stuff on, because we can’t think of any other way he could tell us cool stuff. Nope. No other way at all.