The fifth episode of WandaVision was widely hailed as the best yet in a very unusual and ambitious piece of Marvel product. But surely the most astounding — and meme-able — moment came at the end: Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda opened the front door of her ‘80s suburban home only to find her dead brother Pietro. Only catch? He wasn’t played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. It was Evan Peters, who took the equivalent role — which is to say speedy Quicksilver — in Fox’s X-Men movies.
It’s a cool idea, one that brings back a dead character in not just a playful way but in a meta way, too. After all, that controversial Fox merger does mean Marvel characters previously cordoned off in that studio’s pen, like Peters’ Quicksilver, are now free to hobnob with the ones in the Disney wing. But getting Peters to do WandaVision wasn’t as easy as it sounds.
“We loved the idea of [bringing him back],” head writer Jac Schaeffer explained to Marvel.com. “And then we were like, how in the world are we going to make this make logical sense? Like, how do we justify this? Because that’s the thing, you can hatch a million great ideas, but to make them land, to make them be grounded, to make them feel organic to the larger story.”
The solution? Because WandaVision is in part a parody of sitcoms across the decades, they could poke fun at an old sitcom trope: the sudden arrival of a relative who suddenly appears, creating trouble. (It also ribs the TV cliché of recasting roles with no explanation — although at least on WandaVision, one of the SWORD characters, upon seeing Peters’ Pietro, wonders aloud if Wanda, who seems to be in control of this sitcom netherworld, “recast” him.)
Luckily, Peters was extremely game for the recasting, as was MCU honcho Kevin Feige, who Schaffer says, “wanted to make sure that there was a reason for it, that it made sense.” Of course, we’ll see where they go with this kooky idea in Episode 6.