‘Peacemaker’ star feels welcomed into the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ family

peacemaker clemson murn
HBO Max

Chukwudi Iwuji can currently be seen on HBO Max’s Peacemaker as Clemson Murn, a shady black-ops operative working under Amanda Waller who’s overseeing Project: Butterfly, which has enlisted John Cena’s titular antihero to take out some mysterious superpowered individuals. Next year, though, Iwuji will be swapping the DC Universe for Marvel, as he’s re-teaming with writer/director James Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is currently shooting.

Joining an established franchise three movies in, especially one that features a close-knit ensemble cast, must have been intimidating for the British star. Thankfully, Iwuji told The Hollywood Reporter that he couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome. The actor singled out Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), and Karen Gillan (Nebula) for being so “approachable and down to earth” and expressed that this is true for all the cast and crew from top to bottom.

“They were. I mean, Chris Pratt was just absolutely lovely. He sent me a basket. He has a farm somewhere,” Iwuji began. “And Zoe [Saldana] and Karen [Gillan]. You know what it is about them? They’re all freaking down to earth. So yes, there is a version of this that would be intimidating. There is a version where you walk on and deal with a bunch of very closed-off people. But they’re all so approachable and down to earth and those are the sort of people James likes to work with. James doesn’t want drama on his set. So I think they were very welcoming, but it’s also from the top down. I mean, even the set designer, Beth [Mickle], and Judianna [Makovsky], the costume designer. They are all just doing the job because they believe in the project. When that’s the main emphasis of a project — as opposed to them being there for themselves — that makes a big difference. If there was intimidation, it was me messing with my mind by saying, “Don’t screw this up. Don’t screw this up. This is your Marvel debut.” If anything, it was me. It certainly wasn’t from anyone. People were excited for me to be joining the universe, and James had been laying the groundwork about me joining. And when I met the team, they were almost like you would expect them to be when you watch the movie.”

It’s no secret that Gunn likes to run a drama-free set. The filmmaker recently revealed that he likes to run what he calls “asshole checks” on prospective new collaborators before he hires them. For instance, he asked Elizabeth Banks what Freddie Stroma was like to work with before he cast him as Vigilante in Peacemaker. Likewise, the fact that Gunn got along with him on the DC show is likely a big reason why Iwuji landed his Vol. 3 gig. Though obviously he must have nailed the audition process, too.

What fans really want Iwuji to open up about is the nature of his role in Guardians 3. Gunn has previously teased that a lot of big-name actors were up for the part, but he’s declined to reveal the part’s identity. However, Iwuji did state in this same THR interview that his character is “extremely powerful” and “complex.” That’s only going to fuel those fan theories that he’s playing the villain of the piece, the High Evolutionary, aka Rocket’s creator.

Peacemaker drops new episodes Thursdays on HBO Max. Meanwhile, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters in May 2023.