You probably know by now that "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" involves Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) finding his real father. And his real father is a planet.
Gunn confirmed Kurt Russell in the role during San Diego Comic-Con, sharing these thoughts on Ego in an extended GotG2 Facebook post:
"WE DISCLOSED THE IDENTITY OF PETER QUILL'S FATHER
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.
I also can't wait for all of you to see this movie. I really, really love it. Never has anything I've done flowed as smoothly as this project, and been so true and consistent from the first day I started writing it until today, as we edit it and create our visual effects."
Gunn told Empire that casting Kurt Russell as Star-Lord's dad was Chris Pratt's idea: "He was actually not in my head initially, but one day Chris suggested him, and I would have been really disappointed if he'd said no. Hey, if you have to cast anything, Kurt's a pretty good way to go." Pratt added, of the father-son dynamic, "You're going to see these characters having to endure the realities of being in a family. You're talking about a guy who's been longing to know who his father is for a long time. He'll discover if that person lives up to the expectations he has in his head."
Marvel's "Guardians" sequel opens May 5th.
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