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The Real Reason WandaVision Had To Recast Pietro

WandaVision proves that you don't always necessarily need to jump into the meat of a story. You can take your time, forcing the audience to question your motives and speculate as to where precisely you're heading. That was the case with episode 1 of the Disney+ original as the series followed a pretty straightforward sitcom plot involving the boss coming over for dinner. With each passing episode, the audience receives more information until the explosive final scene in episode 5 when Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) hear a knock at the door and discover it's Wanda's brother, Pietro. Only it's not the MCU Quicksilver played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson who bit the dust in Age of Ultron; it's Evan Peters, who played the superhero in the 20th Century Studios X-Men movies. 

We've known for a while that Peters would make an appearance on WandaVision, resulting in rampant fan theories that his presence would open up the gates between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the larger Marvel multiverse. However, given his brief introduction, there's still a lot we don't know. Is this actually the Quicksilver we know from X-Men: Dark Phoenix? Is this a different guy who happens to look like Evan Peters? And what did Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) mean when she says that Wanda "recast" Pietro?

Things are only going to get crazier from here as we get into the final four episodes. Fortunately, we have show creator Jac Schaeffer, who sat down with Marvel.com to discuss the phenomenal casting coup and how exactly it came to be. 

Jac Schaeffer says the idea of 'what's real and what's not' played a role in bringing Evan Peters back

By the sound of it, Schaeffer knew early on she wanted to try to bring Peters' Quicksilver back, but naturally, that led to a fair share of challenges. As she explains, "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." This sentiment and the idea that his role had to make sense in the overall structure of the series was echoed by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. "Kevin wanted to make sure that there was a reason for it, that it made sense," Schaeffer said. "And I hope that's what we did."

It's safe to say the mission was accomplished, and given the fact that Bettany claimed a massive cameo would be coming down the line, Quicksilver's entrance won't be the only thing that blows our mind with this show. It's such a trippy series that it would be easy to go overboard with craziness, but grounding things in some definition of reality helps keep the show honest and likely sets up future components of the MCU. Schaeffer further expounds upon this, saying, "This show is such a mind scramble, and because it's working on so many levels, and there's so many notions of what's real and what's not, and performance, and casting, and audience, and fandom, and all of that, we just thought it would be the biggest thrill to bring Evan over to the Marvel Cinematic Universe."

It's safe to say it was a success. No doubt the cheers from the sitcom audience were echoed in households around the globe as people realized doors were opening in the MCU.

Evan Peters' Quicksilver follows a long tradition of sitcom recastings

It remains to be seen how Evan Peters' Quicksilver fits into the larger picture of WandaVision, but we know from the previous interview that Jac Schaeffer didn't take his inclusion lightly. All questions regarding where exactly he came from and what his role will be going forward will receive answers eventually, and for the time being, we already have a good idea of what his role in the sitcom world will be. 

Darcy saying that Wanda "recast" her deceased brother wasn't just a throwaway line. Recasting characters, even prominent ones, in sitcoms is a common trope that can be seen time and time again. Just take Bewitched (a show that clearly had an impact on WandaVision), which replaced Dick York with Dick Sargent as co-lead halfway through the series. Of course, modern audiences may be more familiar with Janet Hubert-Whitten departing the role of Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air after feuding with star Will Smith and getting replaced with Daphne Maxwell Reid.

Replacing Taylor-Johnson's Quicksilver with Evans' version just makes sense. WandaVision had to recast Pietro to further solidify its sitcom influences, and it undoubtedly sets up some bigger surprises in the weeks to come. To see how all this plays out, keep checking in with WandaVision every Friday on Disney+.