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WandaVision Showrunner Says There Was No Backup Plan For Casting This Role

WandaVision took a lot of big risks throughout its first season. As the first of the Disney+ Marvel shows (more are coming soon), it was tasked with setting up much of MCU Phase 4, while navigating the perilous narrative waters of Wanda's (Elizabeth Olsen) grief over the loss of Vision (Paul Bettany). Heck, the very notion of taking two of the most powerful members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and pressing them into the 4:3 aspect ratio of classic sitcom television was a massive gamble — but it paid off. There are so many shocking, bounce-up-and-down-on-your-couch-with-excitement moments from the series, that it's hard to keep count. However, there is one moment that stands out as the most universe-breaking — and it could very easily never have happened.

At the every end of WandaVision's fifth episode "On A Very Special Episode..." we see the return of a very important figure in Wanda's life — her brother Pietro. But instead of the actor who played him in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, we got the X-Men version played by Evan Peters. To say that fans were shocked by this recasting would be an understatement. Was this proof that the X-Men were coming to the MCU much sooner than predicted? Was Peters actually playing the Quicksilver from X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse? What exactly was going on?

By now we know that Peters was playing an actor named Ralph Bohner being controlled by Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn). What you might not know, is the enlightening story behind this bold bit of casting.

Evan Peters makes Quicksilver's cameo worth it

In an interview with The New York Times, WandaVision showrunner (and writer on the Captain Marvel and Black Widow MCU movies) Jac Schaeffer was asked about the circumstances surrounding Evan Peters' arrival on the show and what would have happened had he not been able to do it.

"It was an enormous question mark for a very long time," said Schaeffer, "and it took a while to figure out if it would be possible. It was late that it was finally confirmed that we could do it. But we were writing for it."

Schaeffer was excited about landing the X-Men franchise's Quicksilver. "Evan is such a chameleon in that way, that [he] could play an amalgamation of Uncle Jesse [from Full House], Nick [from Family Ties] and Joey from Friends," she said. "He could play those layers."

It would seem that Schaeffer and her team were so sold on Peters that they didn't even bother with a back-up plan. "There are a couple of scenes that I wrote that I'm like, 'This is genius!'" said Schaeffer, "and then it was like, 'No, you can't have that toy.' You find a different toy that suits your show better. But there wasn't a Plan B on that. There were just very, very intense hopes and dreams, and they were met."

Looking at the overall arc of the show, it makes sense that there was no secondary actor for Pietro. In the strictest sense, the show would've worked without him — but with him there's that one extra twist of the knife tying Wanda's past trauma with her present one.