Sometimes when a writer is working on a script they have an actor in mind. It's a person that's just perfect to embody the character, because of past roles that might influence how they're being written, or just a unique machismo or swagger. That was the case for James Gunn when writing the character of Ego, revealed to be Star-Lord's father in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, as he had Kurt Russell in mind. However, he tried not to only write for the celebrated actor.
"He was perfect, but I felt like the script was good and if Kurt Russel said no we would have found somebody else, I would hope," Gunn told Comicbook.com and other reporters during a set visit last spring. "I never say there's no plan B, because that would just be a lie. There's a lot of great actors out there. There's a lot of great sixty-ish old actors out there. So yeah, I think we would found another."
Of course, they didn't have to find another, as they got their first choice in Russell. It was a unique situation for Gunn, because he said he wasn't "under pressure to have a 'name' actor in that role," and got to audition some no-name actors for Ego and the other new characters in the movie. Still, Russell's ability to grow epic facial hair probably didn't hurt his chances.
In Guardians vol. 2, Russell will bring Ego the Living Planet, a cosmic character that in Marvel Comics is depicted literally as a giant, bearded planet that can move through space, though he'll also draw inspiration from J-Son, Star-Lord's father from the comics. In the movie's story, we know that Ego decided to make a human body for himself to experience humanity. That was revealed last July during San Diego Comic-Con, where he noted to Drax that he's... anatomically correct. Russell's debut as the character was only revealed there and not subject to a major leak, so the general public is still awaiting their first look at him in action. We're more anxiously waiting for a mustachioed planet here at the ComicBook.com offices, though.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is written and directed by James Gunn (Slither). The film marks the return of the original Guardians, including Chris Pratt (Jurassic World) as Peter Quill/Star-Lord; Zoe Saldana (Star Trek Into Darkness) as Gamora; Dave Bautista (Spectre) as Drax; Vin Diesel (Furious 7) as the voice of Groot; Bradley Cooper (American Sniper) as the voice of Rocket; Michael Rooker (Jumper) as Yondu; Karen Gillan (The Big Short) as Nebula; and Sean Gunn (Gilmore Girls) as Kraglin. New cast members include Pom Klementieff (Oldboy), Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby, Everest), Chris Sullivan (The Knick, The Drop) and Kurt Russell (The Hateful Eight, The Thing).
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is scheduled to hit theaters on May 5, 2017.
MORE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2: Concept Art Shows Off Star-Lord's Space Pirate Style / Guardians Star Comments On Drax's New, Surprising Friendship / New Photos Released / James Gunn Releases Another Piece Of Guardians VOL. 2 Score / Make Your Own Groot Cake / Mantis Seemingly Confirmed For Avengers: Infinity War / Vin Diesel Says A Groot Solo Film Is Inevitable / First Look At Ego / Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 LEGO Sets Revealed / Every Marvel Studios Hero Confirmed For 2017 Movies / Jennifer Lawrence Wants Mystique In Guardians Of The Galaxy / 5 Awesome Guardians Who Aren't In The Marvel Cinematic Universe Yet /Chris Pratt Raves About Guardians Vol. 2 / Jennifer Lawrence Reacts To Being Fan Cast As She-Groot