Chukwudi Iwuji is on a tear across superhero cinema, joining both the DC Extended Universe and Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe with back-to-back projects. When Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 enters theaters next spring, the actor will portray the High Evolutionary, a diabolical cosmic baddie that goes to great lengths to experiment on humans, aliens, and animals alike.
As Iwuji remembers, Guardians helmer James Gunn actually approached him about the role while filming one of the most memorable moments of Peacemaker — the show's catchy opening credits.
"It was the day we were filming the opening dance sequence. We had just filmed a take for the dance and James says, 'Can I talk to you for a second?' and I was thinking we was going to tell me he meant to hire Chiwetel Ejiofor and made a mistake and hired me," Iwuji tells ComicBook.com's Brand Davis. "He says 'No, no, no. I don't know what your schedule is but I would love you to play the main villain of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.'"
Gunn and Iwuji then filmed a screenshot to shoot off to Marvel HQ in Burbank, with Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige giving the actor his final stamp of approval.
"He said it on that day and I've never been so surprised in my professional life like that," Iwuji adds. "That's how he pitched it to me and a few weeks later we did a screen test and sent it over to the big man Kevin Feige and Kevin said 'Yeah, that's the guy,' so that's how it happened. I feel very blessed."
Gunn previously said the High Evolutionary was a role most big names in Hollywood wanted.
"It's been a strange & long & at times challenging journey to get here, but the obstacles along the way have only made this moment more blissful. Back on set with my Guardians family for the first day of shooting," Gunn wrote in the original post.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is due to hit theaters May 5, 2023. Iwuji can also be seen on Peacemaker, now streaming on HBO Max.
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