08 Avengers: Age of Ultron – The Avengers Assemble 5

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One of the loose ends to clean up after the Battle of New York finds The Avengers in Eastern European Sokovia. This is where The Avengers encounter two new characters in the film. “The fun of the Avengers comics is the shifting roster that has changed dozens of times over the years,” says Kevin Feige. “So for us that was always part and parcel of the concept of the franchise. Now that we have the opportunity to do another one, it was always the idea that we were going to mix up teammates and there were two characters in particular that we set our eyes on bringing into the fold, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff aka Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.”

The producer continues “They have a very interesting introduction to The Avengers, which is why we wanted to use them in this film. They are not fans of The Avengers at all. They’re from this Eastern European country known as Sokovia that used to be a S.H.I.E.L.D post, but Hydra has been operating out of there, and Hydra’s not the nicest organization.”

For Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who was cast in the role of Pietro aka Quicksilver, having Elizabeth Olsen cast as his twin sister Wanda aka Scarlet Witch in the film was a comforting dynamic considering the long-standing cast of characters.

“It’s always a little bit intimidating coming into a big cast like this so it was really great being able to work with Elizabeth Olsen, so much since we just worked together in ‘Godzilla,’” says Aaron Taylor-Johnson. “So it was great to have at least a friend to come into this with so you feel like you’re in the same boat.”

The actor continues, “Quicksilver has been really fun to portray as a Super Hero. His superpower is being as fast as the speed of sound, but he’s quick at everything. He’s quick-tempered and becomes frustrated with everything because he’s already there. Everything moves too slowly for him. It’s been fun to play with this character and, more importantly, discover who he is.”

On his close relationship with his sister Wanda, Taylor-Johnson says of Pietro, “It’s just them against the world and they can’t do without each other, which is nice. This is also a yin-and-yang thing. I’m very fatherly and physical and protective over her and she’s sort of that motherly nurturing and caring and more emotional and thoughtful person. They balance each other out. You couldn’t really have Quicksilver without Scarlet Witch. We get along really well and to play a brother/sister thing has been natural and easy.”

“What is interesting to me is how connected and grounded Wanda is with the universe,” says Elizabeth Olsen. “She can also get these messages from parallel universes from the past or the future as well as tap into people’s greatest fears and has the ability to manipulate their mind. That aspect of the character really excited me because it created a huge plot point in this film that she messes with all The Avengers’ heads to such an extent that they have to go away and come back together as a unit. I also liked that Joss didn’t just throw in new characters just to add more characters. We’re directly connected with the plot, and the story between Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch is such a beautiful, familial story that the two of them only have each other.”

“Wanda and Pietro both have powers we’ve not seen before,” explains Joss Whedon. “Pietro is extremely fast, almost as fast as the Bullet. Wanda’s power is very amorphous and so we took it and said she’s got telekinesis; she can move things and she can have a little bit of energy shielding or pushing and she can get inside your head so that all your worst fears and doubts are going to come to the forefront. That’s a lot of power and I wanted something more than just the ability to punch, but at the same time I wanted people to know: this is as far as she can go with it.”

For Olsen, getting the right look and fluidity in the character’s movements required weeks of practice and development. “Joss and I would go through pictures of Scarlet Witch and she always had these red balls around her hands for some sort of fire energy,” explains Olsen. “Joss really wanted me to work with a dancer and wanted to add a new element of fighting without punches and something that’s more circular instead of harsh. So then he met Jenny White, who’s my movement coach on this, and she and I together created these movements on our own that worked for me and worked for Joss. It was a lot of work and it wasn’t really until the second half of this shoot that I felt like I could improvise with it. It’s not random, but it feels like something that you’ve never done before. It’s not something you’ve seen before and it was just kind of born organically, which is really cool.”

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