There’s a lot of reasons to be excited for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and not all of them are just the mere presence of Baby Groot. All the key cast are returning under the zany directing hand of James Gunn, with the team themselves now including Michael Rooker’s Yondu, Karen Gillan’s Nebula and Pom Klementieff’s new character Mantis. Then you have the excellent first look trailer that stoked the hype fire just the right amount. Perhaps the biggest cause for anticipation is that the film will tackle the reveal of who exactly Star-Lord’s father is – which we now know to be Kurt Russell’s Ego the Living Planet.
We recently learned that getting Ego in the film wasn’t so simple as it may have initially seemed. Talking at a fan event, Deadpool screenwriter Paul Wernick revealed that in order to change Negasonic Teenage Warhead’s powers to the explosive force we saw in the film, Fox had to return Ego, a Fantastic Four character, to Marvel for use in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Now Gunn has revealed his side of the story – which is, if anything, even more interesting.
Speaking on his Facebook page, Gunn not only confirmed the swap, but stated that it was a very fortuitous turn of events for the Marvel camp:
“When I first pitched Ego as Quill’s father, I THOUGHT we owned the character. After I had worked out a very elaborate story with Ego the Living Planet as a very important part of the Marvel cosmic universe, I learned that we actually didn’t own the character. I had no back up plan, and it would be nearly impossible to just drop another character in. Thank God Fox came to us and wanted to make a trade…”
That’s a very lucky turn of events for both parties in fact, and one born really of convinient timing. Guardians 2 was being pitched shortly after the first film’s smash box office success, around the same time Deadpool‘s test footage was leaked and that film became a reality, meaning both studios were hoping for a deal around the same point. Had the timelines not matched up so neatly, it could have been harder to broker this deal; while it would have been petty of Marvel to reject a basic power swap outright and it’s not like Fox would have much use for Ego either, the companies could have found themselves in a stalemate with nothing else on the table.
Beyond the deal, Gunn’s description of Ego as impossible to replace means that far from being a random character plucked to be Chris Pratt’s Dad, Kurt Russell and his nature as a Living Planet is something integral to his Guardians 2 pitch, promising some really weird cosmic happenings in the film. That being said, there’s likely some Guardians comic fans who still wish Gunn had gone with Spartoi Emperor J’son as Peter Quill’s father as it was in print – so perhaps the trade wasn’t ideal for everyone.