Throughout Phase 4 of the MCU, Marvel Studios hasn't shied away from the fact that this franchise will boast a version of the Young Avengers from Marvel Comics in the future. This started in the new slate's first project with Julian Hilliard and Jett Klyne as the Maximoff twins in WandaVision, and that trend continues through the most recent movie to be released - Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has all but confirmed that the Young Avengers will be a part of the story in due time, although the specifics for their first assembly are still unknown. Along with the aforementioned magical/Multiversal entries, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier introduced the Patriot, Loki brought the first action for Kid Loki, Hawkeye held Kate Bishop's origin story, and Ms. Marvel is currently shining a light on Kamala Khan.
The actors behind the potential Young Avengers team members all have the idea firmly in their heads, as was shown already through a couple of exclusive interviews with The Direct. Jett Klyne shared his own ideas for a roster within the MCU, while Elijah Richardson hopes to see his own hero, Eli Bradley, return in any form moving forward.
Now, the other half of WandaVision's dynamic super-duo opened up on what he hopes to see happen with regard to Earth's Youngest Heroes.
Julian Hilliard Envisions His MCU Future
In an exclusive interview with The Direct's Richard Nebens, MCU star Julian Hilliard shared where he hopes to see his character, Billy Maximoff, go with future MCU projects.
Looking at a potential Young Avengers roster in the MCU, Hilliard loved the idea of working with actors like Xochitl Gomez (America Chavez), Hailee Steinfeld (Kate Bishop), Jack Veal (Kid Loki), Elijah Richardson (Eli Bradley), and his on-screen brother Jett Klyne (Tommy Maximoff). He specifically mentioned the Avengers: The Children's Crusade run from Marvel Comics while also laughing at the idea of a team-up between Billy and some interesting Loki Variants:
"I’m up for anything. I think it would be cool to do more projects with Xochitl, and yeah, all the ones you mentioned too. I’d love to see some sort of Children’s Crusade adaptation. That’s my favorite Billy story. It would be fun to see Billy and Kid Loki interact, and Alligator Loki too. And, of course, can’t forget Teddy! Ooh, and Iron Lad!"
In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Hilliard and Klyne had their first interactions with Xochitl Gomez's America Chavez, although it was the actors' off-screen interactions that really got Hilliard pumped about their on-screen dynamic.
"Really, it was our interactions when the cameras weren’t rolling that got me really excited about our characters. I’d love to work with her again. She’s just amazing and so so nice."
Going off of his mention of The Children's Crusade run from the comics, Hilliard admitted that he'd love seeing a number of Billy Maximoff moments transfer from the page to the screen within the MCU. He noted the idea of "the audience getting to grow with these characters" in the coming years as he grows alongside the rest of the potential team:
"Billy is just an incredible character, Maximoff and, of course, Kaplan too. Again, I’m really down for anything. I love the Children’s Crusade and think there are some really cool ways that could be done. Honestly, I would love to make all his stories. Just imagine the audience getting to grow with these characters over the years. Think about how crazy it would be if, in like two, three, or four phases from now, Empyre and Empyre: Aftermath got made. I would love that."
Hilliard took a moment to call Billy Maximoff "a dream character for him," noting that he had dreams of being in the MCU even before his acting career began. When asked about his hopes that a Young Avengers project would become a reality, he admitted that he's "open for anything Marvel:"
"Like I said, I love the character of Billy in all his versions and knew a lot about him and Wiccan already. Being in the MCU was a dream of mine even before I started acting, so of course, I would be open for anything Marvel. Billy is a dream character for me."
Hilliard then moved toward discussions specifically about his work on Doctor Strange 2, where he and Jett Klyne played key supporting roles in a few scenes in the Multiversal sequel.
With Marvel being as secretive as ever about its future, even with the MCU stars themselves, Hilliard admitted that he only knew a small bit about his role in Doctor Strange 2 when he first joined the cast of WandaVision:
"We knew a little bit about being in Doctor Strange 2, but you know Marvel, they’re pretty good about their secrets."
Hilliard also looked back at what he knew about Doctor Strange 2 ahead of working on it, noting that "there were definitely still some surprises," even with how much information he had about the plot. Like the rest of the fandom, he couldn't wait to see Wanda alongside the MCU's Illuminati, and he shared how excited he was about Gomez's MCU debut as America Chavez:
"I knew quite a lot about it, but there were definitely still some surprises. I was really excited to see the reactions to Wanda with the Illuminati, even though I didn’t 100% know who was going to be the members in the final cut. I did know some, but not all. I was also really excited to see Xochitl’s performance. She’s just so awesome."
With Olsen transitioning from the hero in WandaVision to the villain in Doctor Strange 2, one might expect the dynamic to be a little bit different as the Multiversal sequel went through production. However, Hilliard admitted that the only real difference was having to be afraid at the end of Olsen's Scarlet Witch, since she was such a pleasure to work with; he even shared his own fun nickname that he gave the MCU veteran:
"It really wasn’t that different, I mean she was still our Mom. The only different thing was trying to show the fear at the end, which is tough because Lizzie is just so nice and so fun. I like to call her Momda."
Hilliard Ready for Young Avengers to Assemble
While there is still some time before the Young Avengers come together as a unit, Julian Hilliard is ready to see the team become a reality on-screen.
Having first spent ample time alongside Jett Klyne as they brought Billy and Tommy Maximoff to life, he couldn't speak highly enough of his time getting to know Xochitl Gomez in Doctor Strange 2. Even considering how high his praise was for Elizabeth Olsen as she made his introduction to the MCU so fun, Hilliard appears to be ready for anything that comes his way in terms of Marvel Studios' work with the younger team of heroes.
Similar to what fans have seen from Ms. Marvel's Iman Vellani, the young man behind Billy Maximoff had dreams of being in the MCU long before he first appeared in Episode 5 of WandaVision in 2021. And even though he only got to play a version of Billy that had his powers in WandaVision, Doctor Strange 2 set him and Jett Klyne up for future interactions with the Multiverse-jumping America Chavez.
The real question - what story could this group bring to life alongside the rest of their potential Young Avengers co-stars? If Hilliard's hopes come to reality, it will be in a version of Avengers: The Children's Crusade.
Will Marvel Studios Adapt Children's Crusade On-Screen?
After losing her family, the Scarlet Witch loses control of her emotions and her powers, killing multiple members of the Avengers before she nearly ended all of mutant-kind in the oft-discussed House of M story. As Speed, Tommy sets off on a quest to find his mother while Billy's powers as Wiccan reach levels close to those of the Scarlet Witch herself, setting up Billy as a threat just the way Wanda was in Doctor Strange 2.
While this story may not be one that starts the Young Avengers' time in the MCU together, it could certainly be a path to explore as Billy's power grows steadily through future MCU appearances.
No matter where he shows up next, Hilliard's enthusiasm for the role can't be understated as he imagines where Billy Maximoff could potentially come back, and it's clear that he has every intention of sticking with the role. The actor is already forming bonds with his co-stars who play the MCU's own Young Avengers, and their chemistry on-screen should flourish as Marvel Studios works out the details behind their first team-up effort.