Disney+’s WandaVision is usually chock-full of comic-book call-outs and Easter Eggs, from long-forgotten villains and character codenames through to the Halloween costumes that evoke the classic look of the heroes.
But this week’s episode of the Elizabeth Olsen/Paul Bettany series went a step further by apparently including a reference to a non-Marvel superhero – albeit one that still has some significance to WandaVision’s characters.
It’s a small moment, but a telling one. While the recently-returned Pietro (Evan Peters) takes his nephews trick-or-treating, he gets up to all sorts of mischief, which is of particular excitement to the young Tommy.
“Yeah, kick-ass!” he proclaims at Pietro’s suggestion they look for candy together.
As they run off, Wanda ponders their vocabulary. “Kick-ass…” she mutters.
Of course, ‘kick-ass’ isn’t just an expression. It’s also the name of a superhero created by Mark Millar, and a film adaptation of said character that stars Evan Peters and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, AKA both Quicksilvers (with Peters replacing Taylor-Johnson as Pietro this series, a fact explicitly noticed by characters in WandaVision).
It could be a coincidence, but most fans seem to think it was an intentional nod – and to be honest, it does seem like a deliberately stressed gag for hardcore fans.
In the film Taylor-Johnson played the titular Dave Lizewski/wannabe vigilante Kick-Ass, while Peters played his friend Todd – and when Peters and Johnson were first both cast as different Quicksilvers in 2014 and 2015 respectively, fans were quick (appropriately enough) to note the amusing crossover.
However, in the context of WandaVision’s story it now seems all the more notable. In Kick-Ass 2, Todd also decides to become a masked hero called Ass-Kicker, essentially a poor rip-off of his friend’s identity with a reverse-coloured costume. However, it wasn’t Peters in the role – due to conflicts with another filming commitment he was replaced by Augustus Prew.
Weirdly, now Peters is the one “recast” in another person’s role, while also playing an Ass-Kicker style imitation of the “real” MCU Quicksilver. Of course, it’s unlikely the WandaVision crew were explicitly trying to riff off a film that Peters wasn’t even in, but the parallels are an interesting quirk in an already-weird recasting.
Whether we truly have seen the last of Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver is unclear – we’re still holding out for a cameo towards the end of the series – but for now, it’s just nice to see the unusual nature of this recasting get a subtle nod in the series.
Or maybe we’re just reading way too much into a child saying “kick-ass”. With WandaVision, it’s often tricky to know exactly what you’re seeing…
Want more WandaVision content? Check out our latest WandaVision review, our guide to the WandaVision cast, the WandaVision release schedule, Agatha Harkness and the creepy WandaVision commercials. Plus, we ask: When is WandaVision set and how did Vision survive?
WandaVision releases new episodes on Disney+ on Fridays. You can sign up to Disney Plus for £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year.
Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide.