Why Was Evan Peters Cast In WandaVision? Because Of How Grief Works.
The internet exploded when Evan Peters appeared in WandaVision. Aside from his ongoing roles in FX’s American Horror Story, the actor is best known for his performances as Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver in the X-Men franchise. And, as fans of Marvel may know, this role was played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So why exactly did the actor pop up in an MCU property? Why was Evan Peters cast in WandaVision? A recent interview let us know that there are more reasons than we thought.
The WandaVision finale aired earlier this year. Though, we’ll still warn you that this post contains spoilers for the entire season. Not caught up? Check out the Comic Years podcast to find out what you missed.
Why Was Evan Peters Cast In WandaVision If Not To Just Confuse Us All?
WandaVision follows Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. Scarlett Witch (portrayed by the always impressive Elizabeth Olsen), as she learns how to cope with trauma and grief following the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. She is a woman who has lost her entire family and the love of her life, as well as five years of her own life. Earlier events in Age of Ultron also took away her brother, Pietro Maximoff, who the titular villain killed.
The Pietro and Quicksilver that the MCU all knows and loves used Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the actor. While he only played the character briefly, he still left an impact that fans would never forget. Meanwhile, in another not-so-distant franchise, the character continues to exist. Evan Peters has played Quicksilver/Peter Maximoff (close enough to Pietro, right?) in the X-Men franchise since Days of Future Past in 2014.
One of the most important reasons for having different actors play the same character is due to studio interference. X-Men characters are a part of Marvel, sure, but Fox previously owned the rights to these characters, and not Disney, the company that owns Marvel. This all changed in 2017 when Disney announced an acquisition with 20th Century Fox, meaning that there is now room for merging franchises.
Image via 20th Century Fox.
Is The Answer To Why Was Evan Peters Cast in WandaVision Simply To Shake Things Up?
The inclusion of Evan Peters in WandaVision could have had some serious implications. And the moment that we first saw the actor in the fifth episode of the show made us all start making predictions and assumptions that didn’t seem too farfetched at the time. Notably, the idea that Pietro was conveniently “recast” could mean two things: the X-Men were officially in the MCU and that Wanda may have opened the door to the multiverse.
Fans of the show gravitated towards the second option. This is largely because, while Pietro and Peter share the same identity, they remain two different people with different lives. The Peter we know from the X-Men franchise is a goofy mutant born in the 50s. The MCU character is a Sokovian-born human born in the late 80s with a completely different personality.
Image via Disney+.
Why We’re Waiting For That Multiverse
There are too many powers that exist in the world of Marvel to fit all in one universe. The world that we know is more commonly known as Earth-616, the “Prime Universe.” But there are other incarnations of it, and there is far more to be explored.
The multiverse’s existence says that there are parallel universes filled with their own heroes, villains, and everyday citizens. While their existence has been referenced in the MCU before, like in Spider-Man: Far From Home, nobody has visibly made the leap (yet). When a different-faced Pietro/Peter knocked on Wanda’s door, we assumed that her powers were strong enough to break down the walls of the multiverse. And we’re still not fully convinced that she didn’t. But we’ll leave the predictions for when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness comes out.
Why Did They Bother Casting Him Then?
Many of us were disappointed when it turned out that Evan Peters in WandaVision had zero relation to his role in X-Men. He wasn’t from the multiverse, and he certainly wasn’t Mephisto, another highly predicted character reveal. Nope, he was just a regular guy with a funny last name: Ralph Bohner. More like Ralph Boring.
This revelation made a lot of us pretty upset. We spend days predicting, dreaming, and thinking we nailed the hints. But was the casting decision really all for nothing?
Ultimately, WandaVision was not designed to be an action-packed tale of heroic discoveries. Instead, the series served as a platform for unpacking trauma and lots of it. It looks at the stages of grief and examines how sometimes we don’t need a big bad villain to understand how a character thrives or copes.
Image via Disney+.
Ralph Bohner Was There For Trauma-Related Reasons
A recent interview with the series creator, Jac Schaeffer, revealed a different purpose and answer to “Why was Evan Peters cast in WandaVision?” The reason only draws deeper upon topics of trauma and grief. To ensure that they nailed these weighty topics, they brought in plenty of consultants, including a grief counselor.
Exploring these ideas with The Empire Film Podcast, Schaeffer explains that this grief counselor unpacked the way that many people dealing with grief remember the faces of those they have lost. This can include “the anxiety of not remembering the faces of your loved ones, misremembering, or actively misremembering things as a self-preservation tactic.”
The casting of Evan Peters works for these reasons. After Peter’s arrival, Wanda is certain that something is off, even if she can’t put her finger on it. She knows that he is supposed to be his brother, but not everything is as she remembers. While it could be explained as her having anxiety over not remembering all of his face’s details, we think that it falls into the category of misremembering him as a self-preservation tactic.
Wanda Maximoff starts by not wanting to remember any of the bad things that she lived through. In fact, she blows up at Monica just for mentioning Pietro. Her seeing her brother as somebody else helps with self-preserving the truth of what happens, allowing her to think of him as nothing but positive (and alive.)
Schaeffer goes on to add that having Peters in the role also adds a “meta layer for the audience,” but we already know how that went over. Again, we were pretty darn surprised that it ended up just being for the shock.
Image via Disney+.
Evan Peters May Still Return
If Evan Peters does return to the MCU, we’re sure that it’ll be when the X-Men and the Avengers cross paths. If this happens, do we think that Wanda will remember his face? Or will it be mentioned in passing, like her pausing on the term “kick-ass,” pointing at how Peters also played a role in Marvel-adjacent comics adaptation Kick-Ass (read our retro review here!).
So, why was Evan Peters cast in WandaVision? Not to open the multiverse or hide a later reveal. He was cast to make further commentary on how people cope with loss. Considering how deep the series got in handling sensitive topics, we think it’s a pretty neat addition.
WandaVision is currently streaming on Disney+.
Featured image via Disney+.
Meghan Hale is the kind of movie lover that has a "must watch" that is a mile long... and growing. When she isn't talking about the latest film and television news she is writing one of her many in-process novels, screaming film trivia at anybody who will listen, and working as a mental health care professional. Follow her on Twitter @meghanrhale for some fun theories and live reactions to all things entertainment.