X-men Days of Future Past has been a huge success, and many (myself included) feel that Quicksilver stole the show. If your eyes weren’t astonished by the visuals of his powers, you were probably laughing from something he said. His scene was break away hit for many, but therein lies my point. His scene. Singular. Compared to his co-stars, Quicksilver was not only in the film briefly, but his entire part easily could have been written out. In fact, his scene doesn’t make much sense when you look at the story as a whole.
The plot is that Bolivar Trask is trying to convince Congress that mutants are a threat. Congress points out that not only do mutants account for a microscopic portion of the population, but they have been peaceful. Congress saw no reason to build a military defense against the mutants.
Now let’s look at Quicksilvers role. Magneto is believed to have assassinated JFK because of his ability to control metal. The US believes Magneto killed JKF. Are you telling me that after a president is killed by a mutant, the government wouldn’t view these guys as potential threats? We are a nation that thought zombies were becoming real when a homeless man got hooked on bath salts. The idea of a man controlling metal, and then killing the president would send us into a panic. When Magneto was freed, no one seemed to really care either, until he dropped a stadium on the White House.
This makes me think, maybe the entire Quicksilver scene was cut and pasted in. A few edits before the scene then a few edits after and BAM you have a reason for Quicksilver. Before the scene, “We have to break out Magneto. I know a guy.” and then after the scene “I didn’t kill the president. I tried to save him. He was one of us.” A couple of lines were all that made Quicksilvers’ entire scene relevant. After the scene, it was as if he was never around. The cast literally got on an airplane and flew away, never to need him again. Wouldn’t his powers have been useful for stopping Raven from trying to kill Trask? Stryker was a more prominent character then Quicksilver, and he had less than 10 lines in the entire film.
So why have Quicksilver in this film at all? Remember back when Avengers 2 officially announced Quicksilver would be in their cast? Fox studios immediately fired back saying, “Quicksilver will be in our film. And our film is coming out first.” Now when movie goers see Quicksilver in Avengers 2, they are going to view this version as “the fake one” causing a disadvantage from a marketing point of view. Most movie viewers don’t know (or care about) what goes on behind the scenes of a film. It matters less that Marvel planned on using Quicksilver first. What matters is that Fox got to him first.
This is the beginning of a new age in film turf wars. All the major motion studios are quickly trying to build franchises, and are releasing films to directly compete with others. We are going to begin seeing advertisements that directly attack other franchises and one-line zingers mocking characters other studios have the rights to. The true irony is that comic book fans will be both winners and losers in this war. We will see characters brought the big screen we never thought we would, such as Hawkeye. At the same time we will also see many of our favorite heroes thrown into half assed scripts due to back office agendas and vendettas. For every Quicksilver, who gets wonderful 5 minutes of well-deserved fame, we will see a character like Rhino, who is thrown into a film to fill in space.