Avengers News – Scarlet Witch Casting and S.H.I.E.L.D. Spin-Off Series

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It’s been revealed that Marvel Studios is in the process of securing a deal with Elizabeth Olsen for the upcoming Avengers movie sequel, Age of Ultron. Olsen, star of 2011’s Martha Marcy May Marlene, has been chosen to play Scarlet Witch, daughter of Magneto and twin sister of Quicksilver in the X-Men franchise.

220px-Elizabeth_Olsen_TIFF_2011The character, who was ranked 97th in Wizard’s “200 Greatest Comic Book Characters of All Time” list, is a firm fan favourite, and will be a welcome addition to many viewers. The inclusion of a new female character will also help to tip the balance of the currently largely male-dominated world of the superhero movie. In an interview last month, Joss Whedon already stated that her trademark leotard would not be making the transition to the big screen, so perhaps we can expect some interesting changes here.

In The Avengers comics series, Scarlet Witch and her brother, Quicksilver, are recruited  by Iron Man, and along with Captain America and Hawkeye, form the second generation of the Avengers, also known as Cap’s Kooky Quartet. Scarlet Witch’s powers include the ability to reshape reality by altering probabilities. Both she and Quicksilver start out as villains and develop over the course of several comics. It’s not clear how far The Age of Ultron film will remain faithful to the comics’ plot, but we do know that, due to rights deals, Magneto can only appear in Fox’s X-Men movies, so it’s questionable how much back story it will be able to give this new character. 

250px-Scarlet_WitchIn other Avengers-related news, Channel Four has now secured the rights to Whedon’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-off series, which is set to premiere this autumn. The show will follow Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), and a B-team of some of the lesser-known agents including Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), pilot Melina May (Ming-Na Wen), engineer Leo Fritz (Iain De Caestecker), scientist Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) and mysterious hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet).

There are rumours that the series will somehow tie in to the Age of Ultron film, though how it will do so remains to be seen. Given the fact that the first Avengers movie sees Agent Coulson die, a link-up with the sequel isn’t going to be the easiest thing to achieve. That said, with Whedon onboard, there’s little doubt that the series will be every bit as clever and entertaining as the movies, even if, as the Radio Times puts it, “a television budget wouldn’t stretch to the olive in Robert Downey Jr’s martini.”

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Sources: The Hollywood Reporter | The Mary Sue | The Radio Times

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