We are well within the two year window from Guardians of the Galaxy 2’s May 5, 2017 release date, so the casting announcements should be coming hot and heavy. Today, we get one person who signed on, and one who passed.
Variety and The Hollywood Reporter are reporting that Canadian-born actress Pom Klementieff has been cast in the Marvel Studios sequel in a pivotal but as yet unknown role. Klementieff has quite a resume in the French cinema, but might be best remember for her henchman role in Oldboy.
As to what the role could be? Well, allow me to speculate. The part specifically called for a an Asian actress and Klementieff has trained in boxing and the martial arts for her role in Oldboy. Based on this flimsy evidence, I’d say she might possibly be playing….
Mantis is a Vietnamese-German martial arts specialist created by Steve Englehart and Don Heck in 1973’s Avengers #112. The character would share a number of adventures with the Avengers before finding out that she was the Celestial Madonna, destined to give birth to the Celestial Messiah (It was the 70s, this kind of thing happened), with the new job title also giving her empathetic powers in addition to her fighting abilities. Being of such cosmic importance, she left Earth to find her destiny in the stars. That destiny just happened to have her cross paths with the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics more than once.
Fun Fact: Mantis is a particular favorite of creator Englehart, who has featured the character in many of his works, including thinly-disguised pastiches in books he wrote for DC Comics and Eclipse.
Variety also states that Matthew McConaughey had been pursued by Marvel for the villain role in the film, an offer the actor passed on. If true, this might be a sign of what Marvel Studios might be like after being freed from the tight purse strings of Ike Perlmutter. The typical kind of actor Marvel Studios goes after is either character actors from the indie world, old favorites who haven’t done much recently, or young up and comers–namely, any one they can lock up for cheap. McConaughey, fresh of an Oscar win and headlining big-budget blockbusters, doesn’t really fit into this category. Of course, no reason was given for him passing on the role, so maybe the salary offer was still too cheap for an actor of this caliber.
As to who he would be playing, well, that isn’t as easy to guess as with Klementieff. While the list of cosmic villains isn’t all that big, most of the ones the comic book GotG faced have either already made it to the big screen with other actors (Ultron, Thanos, Ronan), or aren’t available to Marvel due to rights issues (Blastaar, Annihilus). That basically leaves two strong contenders Korvac, an omnipotent wannabe universe conqueror (one of my favorites), or Magus, the evilness/corrupted identity/future version (once again, the 70s) of the legendary hero Adam Warlock , who the actor, who ever they might be, might also play in the film. All of these are quite complicated characters to bring to the big screen, however.
Collider has a theory of their own that whoever the villain might be, and it will be someone we have been waiting to see since the first film: Peter Quill’s father. The site uses the similarities between McConaughey and Chris Pratt as the basis for this theory. However, if the villain is Quill’s father, that leaves out Korvac and Magus, at least as how they appeared in the comics, as the villains. Both characters are essentially humans, Korvac being imbued with great powers, Warlock being created in a lab to be an ultimate human. As the first movie revealed, Quill’s dad is an alien.
I’m sure there will be plenty more guesswork done between now and 2017, along with a plethora of new casting announcements as well.