So there’s good news and bad news. First the good: During last night’s Marvel panel at Comic-Con, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 director James Gunn dished out all kinds of revelations from the highly anticipated sequel. The biggest? Yes, as most people guessed, Kurt Russell will indeed be playing the mysterious father to Chris Pratt’s Star Lord. What pretty much nobody guessed though is who Star-Lord’s poppa is: Ego the Living Planet.
Yes, that is indeed a planet with a full goatee. Ego is one of Marvel’s weirdest comic book characters, but in a sequel to a movie that that features a talking, machine gun toting raccoon and a living giant tree who can only talk by telling you his name, this may just be right at home. Of course, this begs the question though: Did Star-Lord’s human mom really do the nasty with an entire planet?! That’s a question that Gunn actually asked himself and which actually propelled him to come up with the story for this sequel, as he revealed in a lengthy statement also posted to his Facebook page.
This is the biggie, I guess. And, yes, as many people guessed, or assumed, Kurt Russell is playing Peter Quill’s father. And Peter Quill’s father is (as almost no one has guessed)…
Known in the comics as Ego the Living Planet.
Yeah, his dad is a planet. Sort of. It will all be explained in the film..
But to me, this is the absolute center of Vol. 2, and one of the reasons I’ve been so excited about it. When Marvel first approached me with the first movie, I thought, “Wait a second? A talking raccoon? Isn’t that a rather ridiculous idea to base a movie around?”
It was then that I took a step back and asked myself: Okay, if a raccoon could talk, and shoot a machine gun, how could that be? And answering that question ended up being the entire foundation of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1. There was a sadness in the answer. Rocket was an animal experimented upon, torn apart and put back together, without compassion. He was the only being of his type, had never known any hint of kindness, and was utterly and completely alone until he met his fellow Guardians. And, one of them in particular – Groot – thought it was worth sacrificing his life for his sake. This melancholy and beautiful undercurrent helped to ground the character for me. He had far more in common with Frankenstein’s monster than he did Bugs Bunny. And I related to him, greatly, and I hoped other folks who felt like outsiders would as well.
Ego seemed, in many ways, like an even more ridiculous character. But I asked myself, if a planet was alive, how could that be? And how could it father a child?
The answers to those questions took me to a far deeper place that I expected. I don’t want to give away too many answers at this time. But what Nova Prime said about Peter’s father at the end of Vol. 1 is certainly true – he is something ancient and unknown. And, as we will discover, being a cosmic being, alone for eons, is perhaps even more lonely than being the universe’s sole talking raccoon.
I can’t wait for you guys to see Kurt Russell bring this character to life onscreen. It has been a rapturous experience creating Ego with him. We have both pushed ourselves as far as we can go in making him real, and grounded, and emotionally centered.
In the same FB post, Gunn also revealed a lot of the info that was dished out during the Comic-Con panel, including confirmation that Elizabeth Debicki is indeed playing the cosmic character Ayesha as previously rumoured, that Michael Rooker’s Yondu and his Ravagers are playing a huge role in the movie, and that Karen Gillen’s Nebula is central to the film’s plot. You can read the full FB post on the link above, but here are some of the highlights:
THE RAVAGERS ARE A BIG PART OF VOL. 2
Most were on hand for the SDCC presentation, disrupting the proceedings as Ravagers are prone to do. We learn that they’ve had a somewhat contentious, even mutinous, relationship with Yondu since Vol. 1, due to the fact that Yondu let Peter Quill go without reprisal after not giving them the orb.
The leader in all of these shenanigans is the incredibly-powerful yet incredibly ridiculously-named TASERFACE, played by Chris Sullivan (it’s worth noting that four years ago when I was hired for the first Guardians film, I joked that I was going to make Taserface my villain. I suppose it’s no longer a joke).
Joining Chris in full Ravager regalia, was, of course, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, as well as these new Ravagers, all featured in the film:
Wretch, played by Evan Jones
Half-Nut, played by Jimmy Urine
Brahl, played by Stephen Blackehart
Gef the Ravager, played by Steve Agee
Oblo, played by Joe Fria
Narblik, play by Terence Rosemore
NEBULA IS A MAJOR PART OF THE FILM
As Karen Gillan knows – because I told her during my first meeting with her – GotG Vol. 1 was just a glimpse at a character I had major plans for in the future of the Guardians-verse. I did not lie.
ELIZABETH DEBICKI PLAYS AYESHA
Ayesha is the golden High Priestess of a genetically-perfect people called the Sovereign. She’s not a woman to be screwed with – she, and her entire world, are extraordinarily deadly.
WE CAUGHT A FIRST LOOK AT MANTIS
Our look for Mantis is similar to her original look in the comics – she’s the same color as Pom Klementieff, the actress who plays her (i.e not green), and she has antennae. We saw just a tiny little glimpse of her in the Comic-Con footage. More will be coming. She’s been one of my favorite parts of making this film.
YES, SYLVESTER STALLONE IS IN THE FILM
This was an amazing experience for me, considering I ran around in my backyard as a kid pretending I was Johnny Rambo. Working with Sly was one of the high points of shooting Vol. 2 for me.
Who does he play? Well, I can’t reveal that quite yet… but we do see him interacting with Yondu in the teaser.
What teaser, you ask? Well, this is where we come to the aforemenioned bad news, as Gunn showed the folks in attendance the very first footage from the highly anticipated sequel. But ONLY to the folks in attendance, as Marvel has not followed the Distinguished Competition’s lead by putting all their reveals online. So if you want to know what the footage looked like, then unfortunately the only thing I have to offer is a recap courtesy of /FILM.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Comic-Con trailer opened, naturally, with a close-up shot of Awesome Mix Vol. 2. Baby Groot picks up two wires to connect them, and Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” starts playing.
We then see the Guardians in a giant glowing circle with spheres surrounding them. Something serious is about to go down. Star-Lord and Gamora begin their usual petty (and funny) bickering about her weapon of choice, a rifle rather than her usual sword. “We’ve been hired to stop an inter-dimensional beast, and I’m going to stop it with a sword?” she says. “You’re the one who’s being inconsistent!” he protests.
But the arguing stops when a giant portal opens in the distance and something — perhaps a ship or a creature — comes through. “Showtime, assholes,” says Peter.
We then see the Guardians walking through a forest, and then into a giant gold hall. Sitting on star-shaped thrones above them are statuesque gold figures including Ayesha, played by Elizabeth Debicki. “Careful, these people are easily offended and the consequence of transgression is death,” warns one of the Guardians.
Star-Lord gives Ayesha a flirty wink, but it’s really Rocket Raccoon who gets the facepalm moment. “They told me you people were conceited douchebags,” he starts as the other Guardians stare at him in horror. “But that isn’t true at all!” he finishes.
After a few snippets of big, bright, colorful action, we cut to the Guardians in the forest. They’re arguing again. “Well, they’re trying to kill us, you stupid racoon!” yells Peter. Rocket is offended at being called a raccoon, so Peter apologizes. Sort of. “I’m sorry, I took it too far. I meant trash panda,” he says.
“Is that better?” asks Drax.
Peter laughs. “No, it’s worse, it’s so much worse.”
The trailer then shows us quick flashes of each of the new characters one at a time, including Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Raccoon, Drax, Yondu, Nebula, Mantis (who’s an alien with antennae). There’s some typically crazy stuff going on including Gamora fighting a giant octopus. And then… a giant egg-shaped thing begins lowering itself into the forest. It opens, and out step an unfamiliar man played by Kurt Russell, and Mantis played by Pom Klementieff.
“After all these years, I’ve found you,” says Russell’s character.
“Who the hell are you?” responds Peter.
“I figured my rugged good looks would make that obvious,” responds Russell’s character. “My name’s Ego and I’m your dad, Peter.”
Ego explains that he’s not a human, but has made a human body for himself. “I create what I imagined biological life would be like, down to the most minute detail,” he says.
Drax has a question. “Did you make a penis?”
The other Guardians react with exasperation, especially Peter who protests that he doesn’t need to hear about how he was conceived. But Drax insists, and Ego (who seems unfazed) answers. “Yes, Drax, I’ve got a penis.” “Thank you,” Drax says.
Ahhhhhh, so Ego makes himself a human body. One with a penis. That suddenly makes a lot more sense than the anatomically impossibly sex configurations I was dreaming up in my head. What can I say? I have a vivid imagination!
In other news, Pratt also revealed during the panel that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 takes place only a few months after the events of the first film, and thanks to the heroic reactions of him and his team in saving the galaxy, people finally know who Star-Lord is.
“Well, he’s famous now in the galaxy for having saved so many people, and what the Guardians of the Galaxy did in the first movie. He feels like he’s part of this group, a leader of this group. He’s a little more responsible and trying to stay out of trouble, but not necessarily doing the best job.”
Well, we don’t want him to stay out of too much trouble as being a misfit is what we love best about him (and in Nick’s case, every other part of his body as well).
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is scheduled for release on May 5, 2017.
Last Updated: July 24, 2016