Before casting the role of Peter Quill’s father in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Chris Pratt had but one actor in mind: Kurt Russell. Thankfully, it didn’t take much to convince the Powers That Be over at Marvel that Russell would be a fine addition to the cast and now, with little under a year until release, we exist in a reality where Kurt Russell is set to portray an ancient entity known as Ego, the Living Planet.
Logistics aside, it does tee up plenty of dramatic material to underpin the troubled father-son relationship between Pratt’s Star-Lord and his wayward old man. Part of this dynamic will naturally feed into the arc of Guardians 2, which Russell believes to be a “very complex story.”
Chatting to Collider at TIFF 2016 (the actor was in town to promote soon-to-be-released BP oil thriller Deepwater Horizon), Russell spoke of the air of confidence on set.
“Well, I’m doing the #2 one, right? So I was really impressed that all of the people on the set were so excited because they felt this was so much stronger than the first one, that they really knew what they were doing and the story itself was strong. That pervaded the set. James and everybody else felt like ‘We got our sea legs on the first one, now we can really go.’”
That’s likely a feeling that pervades many sequels, particularly those that are building on a successful formula like Guardians of the Galaxy – actors and screenwriters alike feel more confident in the material, and they can begin taking risks that may have been shelved prior to the original’s launch.
One way of another, Kurt Russell appears to be very happy with the way Guardians 2 is shaping up.
“I was impressed with the stuff that I saw at Comic-Con, but they didn’t show you everything [laughs]. It’s a very complex story, and they really get into it. This is going to be one of the more—probably for Marvel, it’s more connected to human issues, family issues, parental issues, and issues that sons and daughters have with their moms and dads and their family tree, where they come from. I just think it’s going to be an interesting— Peter’s character in this one, he’s got dilemmas and he’s got decisions to make that are not just about whether to save that thing or that person. This is about finding out who you are, where you come from, and where you’re going.”
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is earmarked for launch on May 5, 2017. Beyond that, Steven Tyler happens to be lobbying for a role in the still-to-be-confirmed third installment, even prompting director James Gunn to weigh in on the matter. The real question is whether Tyler’s potential casting will herald the inclusion of Aerosmith power ballads. One can only hope.