If you haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 yet then back extremely off unless you’re big into enormous plot spoilers.
What stands this series out from the rest of the MCU’s output – apart from its quirky humour and loveable talking space tree – is the wealth of real-life pop culture references. Peter Quill, AKA Star-Lord, derives a lot of his identity from his upbringing on Earth and the ‘70s/’80s tunes that remind him of his mother.
And it’s that familiarity with our planet that gave Chris Pratt, who plays the mixtape-loving superhero, an extremely bad idea about the recently-released follow-up.
Vol.2’s main villain is eventually revealed to be Star-Lord’s long-lost daddy, Ego. The power-mad Living Planet takes a humanoid guise in the film, played by none other than Kurt Russell.
Because Ego is free to choose whatever form he takes – an ability that grants us the film’s most memorable cameo – Pratt suggested that part of the plot was rewritten so that his character would recognise the legendary actor for who he really was. Essentially, rather than Kurt Russell playing some bloke being used as a human disguise by Ego, he wanted Kurt Russell to play Kurt Russell.
“Peter Quill would know who Kurt Russell is,” Pratt told Gizmodo in a recent interview. “So we had to create the world where Kurt Russell is not one of his icons the way he actually would have been. All these amazing stars of television and film of that era are the icons of Peter Quill’s ideology he’s created around what Earth was.”
Then came the lightbulb moment.
“I kept pitching [director] James [Gunn] the idea, ‘Should I know that that’s Kurt Russell?’” the actor added. “He’s like, ‘Just trust me. Don’t.”
(Images: Marvel Studios)