Along with the recent release of Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Blu-ray, we were given a commentary track by the man himself, Director James Gunn, in which he provides some insights on his original plans for the Vol. 2 script, and the characters whose roles were altered or downsized to make the movie flow more smoothly.
This got me thinking, particularly about Peter Quill’s father, and whether or not he was original intended to be the sentient planet with a beard named Ego. Perhaps in early scripts Ego was intended to simply be the villain of the film, before studio notes and time constraints gave us the GOTG Vol.2 film we have today?
So allow me to float a couple fan theories on who was originally intended to be the mysterious patriarch of Starlord announced by Nova Corps at the end of GOTG Vol.1.
The Not-So-Likely Theory: Starlord’s Father is Jeff Bridges from 1984’s “Starman”.
OK this is a bit farfetched, but bear with me.
In John Carpenter’s underrated sci-fi film an alien being, composed of light, crash lands somewhere in the South in the late 70’s, inhabits the body of Karen Allen’s dead husband (Jeff Bridges) and kidnaps her. Taking to the road together to escape authorities and return Starman home, they ultimately fall in love along the way and conceive a child together before he leaves the planet forever.
There are so many similarities here that I’m going to just list them out, but every Guardians fan should check this film out as an unofficial prequel to GOTG Vol.1.
- “Starman” and “Starlord” (Huh? Huh?)
- Starman is a “Being Composed of Light” as Meridith Quill says to Peter as she passes away in Vol.1.
- The timelines and locations match up (Quill was in a rural area circa mid 80’s when he was abducted).
- Starman and Starlord both use little glowey orbs from Space.
- Starman and Starlord both wear red flannel.
- Starman and Ego both drive a suspiciously distinctive Shelby Cobra Mustang in bright colors.
- 80’s Kurt Russel looks a lot like 80’s Jeff Bridges.
- 80’s Karen Allen looks a lot like Meredith Quill.
- Starman says that he will one day return for his son who will be ½ human, ½ alien, just before he leaves the planet. And that the child will have special abilities.
I will admit that, while I don’t think this was ever intended to be written into GOTG, I think the similarities suggest it was at least “Starman” was an influence on the story.
So confident in this hypothesis was I, that I tweeted this theory to James Gunn, who promptly shot it down. So on to the next theory.
The Much More Likely Theory: Starlord’s Father was originally intended to be Adam Warlock.
“I had originally intended for Adam Warlock to have a much bigger role in the film”- James Gunn
The Adam Warlock of the comics is a mysterious cosmic Christ-like figure who comes back from the dead to save the universe by orchestrating an army of Marvel Super Heroes, Villains, and Cosmic Beings to defeat Thanos who has attained omnipotent power through the Infinity Gems.
In the Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 post credit sequence we see Ayesha, brooding over a massive Golden Cocoon which teases the creation of Adam Warlock in future films.
In the Blu Ray commentary track during this sequence, James Gun tells us that he had “Originally intended for Adam Warlock to have a much bigger role in the film”. But What does that mean exactly?
It’s hard to imagine where you would add this character to an already lengthy and busy script, without supplanting another character. Gunn later Qualifies that statement by adding, “In my original treatment, I actually had Adam Warlock as one of the characters, early in the film”.
It’s possible that Gunn meant he only wanted Adam Warlock to be a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy as he has been in a few comic runs. “There was 1 character too many and I needed to lose 1”, says Gunn, “So I kept Mantis and saved Warlock for another day”. Perhaps Warlock was in place of Mantis on the GOTG team? But it’s hard to imagine why you would ditch such a fan favorite like Warlock for a bench warmer like Mantis. And it’s a bit crushing to hear we did not get to see Warlock because of her.
So, what other role could Adam Warlock have replaced early on in the film? Is it possible that in early conceptions of the script, Starlord derived his inhuman powers from his mystical father, Adam Warlock? And perhaps Ego was simply the villain of the film whom the Father & Son duo had to defeat together to save the Galaxy before running off to join the infinity war together?
James Gunn also states in the commentary that “Adam Warlock is one of my favorite characters, and I can’t wait to unleash him on the MCU”.
The entire current MCU which started with Iron Man back in 2008 has been building towards the Infinity War films. And if you haven’t read the classic series ‘Infinity Gauntlet’ by Jim Starlin, Adam Warlock is the main protagonist in that story. So, it would make sense to quickly introduce that character as more than just a cameo, as quickly as possible.
So, we know that eventually we will see an on-screen depiction of Adam Warlock which is a dream come true for many Marvel fans who never thought this day would come. But when and to what degree will Adam Warlock be in the MCU?
After the cocoon post credit sequence, Gunn goes on to explain.
“As You know, Warlock is a big part of the Infinity War, and I am an Executive producer on those movies. But Adam Warlock was never going to be part of those films and I didn’t want people to get excited for that because it’s going to change for the Cinematic Universe”, said Gunn.
This is devastating for me to hear. Some time has passed since this commentary was recorded but this sounds pretty definitive that Warlock will not be in Infinity war, but more likely a key character in GOTG Vol. 3. An Infinity Gauntlet film without Adam Warlock is not the Infinity Gauntlet.
While it is hard to imagine how you could spend over 10 years building up to an Infinity Gauntlet story and leave out the main character, I am also profoundly grateful that we have even gotten this far. James Gunn, Kevin Feige and other giants at Marvel Disney have given audiences a slice of childhood wonder over and over again.
I still hold out a shred of hope that if Adam Warlock is truly one of James Gunn’s favorite characters as he says, then he may be able use some of his Executive Producer credibility to sway the Disney suits towards Warlock’s inclusion. Here’s hoping.