WandaVision – 95% was a great way to introduce the MCU, in an official and canonical way, to the world of television series. Something that characterized the show was that the fans made all kinds of theories and then were disappointed when none of them were real. The main ones were two: that Mephisto was going to appear and that there was going to be a cameo of the level of Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian – 91%. It’s easy to remember the time when fans would see Mephisto everywhere and when they thought maybe the cameo was going to be an X-Men introduction to the MCU, maybe Magneto.
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One element that fueled both of the aforementioned theories was the introduction of Evan Peters as Pietro Maximoff / Quicksilver. It should be remembered that the actor had already played the character in the Fox films, while in the MCU in his only appearance Aaron Taylor-Johnson gave him life. Fans saw his appearance as an unequivocal sign that this was going to be the way mutants were going to manifest in the MCU. Some thought it was actually Mephisto playing with Wanda. Many other theories existed, the fact is that the vast majority were wrong. In the season finale it was revealed that the character was actually just an ordinary Westview citizen named Ralph Bohner who was used by Agatha to extract information from the protagonist. Fans saw this as a sign that Marvel was trolling them; or rather, he played with the expectations of the viewers, as is his custom.
Jac Schaeffer, the showrunner and screenwriter for the show, spoke to the film podcast of Empire Magazine. He told them that there is a sad reason for having replaced the original actor with Evan Peters, which is related to the effects of mourning on people’s memory; specifically, it becomes difficult to remember the faces of loved ones who pass away:
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We had a grief counselor come to the writers room and we did some grief research and there’s a lot about how people remember faces. The anxiety of not being able to remember the faces of your loved ones, remembering them badly or intentionally remembering things badly as a self-preservation tactic. All of that was fascinating to us and we thought that putting Evan Peters in the role was not only going to have an effect on Wanda, but also a metafictional layer on the audience.
What he failed to anticipate was that viewers weren’t just going to see the actor as a witty wink and a way to represent Wanda’s state of mind, but were going to come up with all kinds of theories as to why that particular actor was playing Wanda. that character. As revealed several days before in an interview for Variety, that was something that he did not imagine could happen, simply because the X-Men are not something that concerns him in the MCU
I couldn’t have anticipated that … I don’t know, maybe Mary Livanos and Kevin Feige would think ‘yes, that’s the way it is all the time’. But I thought ‘these theories are very crazy’. It was not just because it had nothing to do with what I was thinking, but that this is not my department. I am fortunate to be able to listen to conversations about other projects and sometimes get involved in them. I know very little about all the things Lizzie is involved in. But what they were asking is something bigger and more sophisticated.
In other words, the screenwriters of WandaVision they had nothing to do with the X-Men and since they did not take into account that everyone else was not aware of that, it did not cross their minds that people would think that the introduction of Evan Peters could be construed as the first step in introducing Fox’s mutants into the MCU.
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