Comic-Con 2022: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3's Chukwudi Iwuji Teases High Evolutionary as "Crazy, Arrogant, Dangerous Sociopath"

Following in the footsteps of Tom Hiddleston as Loki before him (and, on the DC side, The Rock as Black Adam earlier in the day), Chukwudi Iwuji introduced himself to Marvel Cinematic Universe fans as The High Evolutionary, the villain of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, by appearing in full character during Marvel Studios' panel in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday evening. "I think you've got sort of a nice range of the charming, crazy, arrogant, dangerous sociopath," Iwuji told ComicBook.com following the event. "I don't know how else to describe him, but he's all those things."

Marvel fans are already trying to piece together how The High Evolutionary, a mad geneticist, fits into the Guardians' story, specifically wondering if he's tied to Rocket's past. Iwuji says The High Evolutionary's role is bigger than any one of the Guardians of the Galaxy."

"It's so interesting that people have been narrowing it down just to Rocket because [The High Evolutionary] is the big bad of the movie," he says. "So, he plays a big part in a lot of people's stories and I think they're going to be a few surprises with that."

Iwuji also explained how The High Evolutionary's range touches on different aspects of his acting career to date. It's almost as if he's been preparing for the role for years.

"I think one of the things [director James Gunn] said to me is that this guy, he's a very powerful, villain but I need you to to to ground him," Iwuji explains. "It should be sort of weird that, yes, he's a marvel villain, but I need him grounded, so I think he's he sort of crosses genres. There's something of the James Bond villain in him, there's something of the mad scientist in him, there's something of a Marvel villain in him,, and then there's something -- and I say because my background is Shakespeare -- there's something of King Lear going mad in him, and Richard III. It really straddled all the parts of my career that I enjoyed and I could bring to the role."

Something that won't be too present in that character mix in the comic book version of The High Evolutionary. "I went and looked at the character," Iwuji says, "but I knew James was creating his own version of it and also, I knew I wasn't going to look like that either. They were going to do some different stuff. So I'm one of those that, I don't let the facts get in the way of a good story. So I wanted to really build this character from the scratch. Yes, I got a sense of him but I really wanted to be The High Evolutionary in Guardians, not The High Evolutionary everyone was expecting."

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opens in theaters on May 5, 2023.