Unused concept art for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 featuring Matthew McConaughey as Ego the Living Planet has been revealed. The role, which ultimately landed on Kurt Russel’s lap, is the long-lost father of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and eventually transpired to be the villain of the film.
Back in October 2015, there were rumors of director James Gunn trying to cast the Academy Award Winning actor to be the main bad guy of the sequel for Marvel’s space saga. However, McConaughey ultimately decided to turn down the comic book gig and instead pick up the part of Randall Flagg, a.k.a. The Man In Black in the upcoming movie adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Now, though, we have a good idea of what exactly that part was going to be.
A new piece of concept art has made its way online that imagines McConaughey as Ego’s human-looking avatar, showing the actor donning a sleek black suit with a metallic-looking belt.
It’s safe to say this look is radically different from Russel’s garb in the film; his cape and earthy toned get up definitely looks more Celestial-like. That said, there are some similarities to the finished version, with the gauntlets that McConaughey’s concept art was sporting carried over to Russel’s final look.
In retrospect, while McConaughey could have crushed the role of Ego, Russel felt more suitable for the role. He imbibed the fatherly figure that Ego projected initially very well which allowed him to effectively tap into Star-Lord’s sense of longing to have a relationship with his father. McConaughey, on the other hand, looks more like a cool comrade than a father possibly also because of his age.
Furthermore, Russel’s 1980s connection added another dimension to his backstory, making that flashback scene at the start of the film more interesting; seeing his de-aged appearance made for a striking opening and fit with the throwback feel Guardians is known for.
For those who still want to see McConaughey in an MCU flick, not all hope is lost. Him turning down the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 role doesn’t mean he’s ruled out the role forever – as he said when first discussing passing on Ego, the main drive would be ensuring he has a proper role to play with rather than being just “an amendment“.