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You Have Chris Pratt to Thank for Kurt Russell’s Role in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Marvel/Getty Images

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: whenever you need to cast someone as a giant floating face planet, get Kurt Russell. Russell has long been one of our most self-deprecating movie stars, an immensely talented actor with movie star looks who, for some wonderful reason, always preferred to play the buffoon over the action hero. Movies like Big Trouble in Little China and even the more recent The Hateful Eight reveal that Russell is never happier than when making fun of his movie star persona.

So frankly, I’m a little surprised to hear that Russell was not James Gunn’s first choice for the role of living planet Ego in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. This seems like the kind of role designed to go to a great genre actor who isn’t afraid to have a little fun on the comic-con circuit. Thankfully, according to Empire Magazine, Chris Pratt was there to play the voice of reason. Here is the relevant quote from Gunn:

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.

With Marvel’s tremendous power at the box office and the army of people the company employs to ensure no talent is off-limits for their movies, it’s really funny to think that Russell’s casting just boiled down to two guys spitballing names of some of their favorite actors. And if Russell is as good as I expect he’ll be as Ego, then it’s probably time for the good folks at Marvel to give Pratt a raise.

In addition to Pratt and Russell, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will feature returning cast members Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, and Dave Bautista as well as new additions Sylvester Stallone and Nathan Fillion. The movie will be released on May 5, 2017.

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