Perhaps the most hotly-anticipated movie of the summer, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, is just a few short weeks away from release. This sci-fi action sequel to the unlikely 2014 blockbuster sensation will reunite the Marvel universe's ragtag group of misfits for another adventure, sailing the cosmic seas and saving the day with style.
While Guardians Vol. 2 will see the return of the entire main cast of the original film (sans Ronan the Accuser, that is), it will also introduce a handful of new players to the scene, including Kurt Russell as Ego the Living Planet, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, and Chris Sullivan as the amusingly-named Taserface.
One more newcomer to the MCU is Sylvester Stallone. Despite being one of the most high-profile castings in the movie, director James Gunn and producer Kevin Feige are keeping the identity of his character a tightly-guarded secret. Fans won't know for sure just who he's playing until the the movie hits theaters on May 5. For now, check out our picks for 15 Characters Sylvester Stallone Could Play in Guardians Of The Galaxy 2.
15 Adam Warlock
Adam Warlock has yet to make a formal appearance in the MCU, though his cocoon was widely believed to be featured within the Collector's, err, collection, in the first Guardians (as well as the post-credits scene of Thor: The Dark World). In the comics, Adam Warlock is a man-made science experiment, an attempt to create the perfect human specimen. After escaping The Enclave, Warlock heads to space and encounters the High Evolutionary, who gives him the Soul Gem (coincidentally, the last Infinity Stone yet to appear in the MCU).
The character, something of a "Space Jesus," is usually depicted as young and gorgeous, so Sylvester Stallone doesn't quite fit the bill; however, if indeed Warlock was imprisoned by The Collector, maybe the MCU can introduce an older, washed-up version of Warlock, who believes he failed in his quest for cosmic enlightenment until Star-Lord and company give him the will to go on and continue his odyssey through the universe.
In the comics, Adam Warlock is shown as one of very few characters who can take on Thanos in hand-to-hand combat, and if there's one man who can don the Infinity Gauntlet and fight the Mad Titan to a stand-still in Avengers: Infinity War, it's Sylvester Stallone as Adam Warlock. After all, what is the Infinity Gauntlet but a bejeweled boxing glove?
14 The Magus
Speaking of Adam Warlock, it's impossible to brush aside the storytelling possibilities of his alter ego, Magus. After Warlock escapes Earth and wanders through space, he encounters the cult religion, The Universal Church of Truth. Their leader, Magus, turns out to actually be Adam from the future, who had traveled back in time for power and to nudge his past self into continuing the infinite time loop which ensures Magus's own creation.
Even after including the Time Stone in Doctor Strange, the MCU has so-far steered clear of time travel stories, but maybe that should change. Having Sylvester Stallone in a dual role as Adam Warlock and Magus would be a tremendous opportunity for him to stretch his underappreciated acting ability, and tell the type of cosmic sci-fi time travel hero's journey which is only possible in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Plus, having young and old versions of Stallone acting together would be a great opportunity to advance the CGI de-aging effects Disney's been perfecting over the years, showcased by both Michael Douglas in Ant-Man to Robert Downey Jr. in Captain America: Civil War.
13 Vance Astro/Major Victory
There is potential for Stallone to be playing one of the more obscure members of the Guardians of the Galaxy. After all, the 2014 Guardians movie is based on the 2008 lineup of the team, a group whose comic history dates all the way back to 1969. The only original member to appear in the 2014 film is Yondu; the rest have yet to make their MCU debuts.
One of the founding members of the original Guardians of the Galaxy is Vince Astro, AKA Major Victory. In his comic origin, Vince is a New York-based astronaut who embarks on a thousand-year journey to a new galaxy, spending much of his time in suspended animation thanks to a high-tech copper alloy suit which protects him from exposure and offers a degree of physical protection.
If Stallone is playing Major Victory, his backstory can be changed, but there's strong potential in having a fish-out-of-water spaceman from the 1960s play a role in Guardians Vol. 2, and maybe even joining the team by the end. He'd basically be like an older version of Star-Lord, just abducted from a different era.
"Chosen One" heroes are a dime a dozen in comic books (and most fiction, come to think of it). It seems like every other fella is destined to save the universe. More interesting than the conceit of destiny is the idea of just being the only person around who is willing to step up and fight back. Less Anakin Skywalker, more John McClaine.
In the comics, Wendell Vaughn was a mid-tier SHIELD employee who is observing experiments done with super-bracelets, Quantum Bands, taken from the late supervillain Crusader. However, after the man chosen to wield the Bands is killed during an attack, Vaughn puts them on because he's the only one around to do so, gaining the power to fly and create physical objects out of "Quantum Energy..." Whatever that is.
The Guardians of the Galaxy are special and endearing to fans precisely because none of them are "chosen ones" (even though Star-Lord cuts it close with his half-alien parentage), but "losers" who "give a s***," or as Rocket so eloquently puts it, "a bunch of jackasses, standing in a circle." Quasar would be a perfect fit to stand alongside them. Sylvester Stallone became a star by playing Rocky Balboa, the ultimate everyman who seizes upon his shot at greatness, and he would be an excellent choice to play the spaceman.
One of the most powerful beings in the entire Marvel canon is Eternity. A cosmic entity, it (and it's "sister," Infinity) transcends physical status, or the constraints of time and space. Like its name suggests, Eternity exists everywhere at once, though it can take on a humanoid visage to communicate with lesser beings like us mere mortals.
First introduced in the pages of Doctor Strange, Eternity was the closest the Marvel Universe had to the concept of God until the introduction of the Living Tribunal and the One-Above-All. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be introducing Ego the Living Planet, and has hinted at the existence of other cosmic beings like the Celesials. Knowhere, a space colony housed within the severed head of a massive being, appears in the 2014 film. Eternity would be the next logical step in terms of opening the Marvel Universe to even more far-out, psychedelic concepts.
10 Captain Mar Vell
2019 will see the release of Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel. In the comics, Danvers was not the first hero to bear that name, as that honor goes to the Kree superhero, Mar-Vell. It's unknown how Danvers will receive her powers in the MCU, but she will be making an appearance in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War before getting her own solo film. Perhaps her powers will be passed down from the original Captain Marvel?
The MCU hasn't done much with regards to growing old and retiring, but everyone has to hang up their cape eventually, and pass down the mantle to the next generation. In the comics, Carol Danvers gets her superpowers while trying to protect Captain Marvel from an exploding Kree device, which combines her DNA with his, essentially making her half-Kree... And a superhero! Marvel Studios will probably mix things up to work better for the MCU version of her character, while also incorporating the original Captain Marvel in her origin.
Perhaps Stallone could pop up as an old man version of Mar-Vell, seeking a suitable apprentice to whom he can pass along his great power. It would be funny if he takes a look at the Guardians and decides, "no way!" before eventually meeting Carol Danvers in Infinity War.
One of the new characters set to be introduced in Guardians Vol. 2 is Mantis, played by Pom Klementieff. It's been revealed that her surrogate father in the film will be Ego (Kurt Russell), but that doesn't explain what happened to her real father. In the comics, Mantis's biological father was a German soldier named Gustav Brandt who fought in Vietnam...
For the sake of argument, let's assume that a Stallone-played version of Brandt would change nationalities from German to Italian. After falling in love and having a daughter, he is finds himself in a battle with his brother-in-law, who is displeased at the interracial romance. His girlfriend is killed and Brandt himself is striken blind.
Of course, blindness never stopped a Marvel character (just ask Daredevil), so Brandt, after leaving his daughter at a Kree temple in Vietnam, did what any highly-trained blind martial artist would do – he became a terrorist, an agent of the Zodiac (which was mentioned in the Marvel One-Shot, Agent Carter), though he would eventually reform and even fight alongside The Avengers.
It's unclear if Mantis's comic book origin story will be maintained in Guardians Vol. 2, but if it does, then Stallone would be more than serviceable in the role of her father, a conflicted criminal who eventually seeks enlightenment and redemption.
Like Major Victory, Martinex was one of the founding members of the original 1969 version of the Guardians of the Galaxy. A crystalline alien (though descended from humans) from the planet Pluto, Martinex T'naga is the brains behind the Guardians, a master of computer science and other advanced technologies. That being said, as the result of genetic engineering, he also has super strength and the ability to shoot lasers from his hands, a la Iron Man.
An MCU version of Martinex doesn't necessarily need to maintain the 31st century origin on the comic book incarnation, but the visual potential of Stallone playing the character is just too good to pass up. Think the physique of Colossus mixed with the sparkle of Emma Frost. With his laser-based powers and engineering capabilities, he could be an outer space version of Tony Stark, which would have possibilities down the line, should Martinex return for Avengers: Infinity War.
7 Wonder Man
One of Marvel's most underrated figures, Wonder Man started out as an enemy of The Avengers. A rich industrialist who lost his father's fortune due to some bad business decisions, a desperate Simon Williams agreed to be experimented upon by Baron Zemo, who gave him superpowers, which didn't do him much good, since he was apparently killed in his first battle against Earth's Mightiest Heroes. He is eventually revived and becomes a superhero, using his powers for good and atoning for the mistakes of his past.
Should Wonder Man appear in Guardians Vol. 2, his origin would have to be rewritten to fit in the cosmic setting of the story, unless Marvel is willing to let Simon Williams play a significant role before giving him superpowers. It is known that at least a small portion of the film will be set on Earth, perhaps enough to begin developing Stallone's take on the would-be Wonder Man, a role which will evolve throughout the rest of Phase 3.
Considering Zemo's fate at the end of Captain America: Civil War, the character may still follow through with his comic book origin, with the likely exception of removing the "incapable son" angle. Sylvester Stallone is 70, a bit too old to be a financially reckless youth. Or perhaps Wonder Man could simply be a repentant ex-supervillain who is trying to walk the righteous path in spite of his troubled past. Like everything else in the MCU, the possibilities are truly endless... Of course, the role may or may not already be taken by Nathan Fillion, so only time will tell how this tale plays out.
Galactus is one of the greatest villains in the entire Marvel canon, and one can only imagine that Marvel Studios is constantly in the midst of rigorous negotiations with 20th Century Fox to regain the rights to the character (along with other notable figures like Silver Surfer and the Fantastic Four).
One of Galactus' heralds is Air-Walker, formerly known as Gabriel Lan, a captain in the Nova Corps. Unlike The Silver Surfer, who is only begrudgingly loyal to the Devourer of Worlds, Air-Walker is actually friends with Galactus, insofar as Galactus can have friends. After being killed in battle, Galactus collects Air-Walker's soul and builds him an android body so that he can live on. It's a surprisingly heartfelt bromance, especially since Galactus is generally regarded as a nigh-unstoppable force of pure destruction.
While the introduction of Galactus into the MCU may be a long way off (if it ever happens at at all), perhaps Marvel can start sowing seeds by introducing Gabriel Lan as a member of the Nova Corps before deciding whether or not to spin him off into something greater.
When Captain Gabriel Lan became Air-Walker, a herald of Galactus, he didn't tell anybody that he was going and would never be back, not even his best friend and First Mate, Pyreus Kril. Understandably, Kril was upset at his friend and Captain's disappearance, and set out to figure out what happened to Lan. Later on, Kril also finds himself in the employ of Galactus. Apparently, the field of "herald for a galaxy-destroying space giant" has a high turnover rate.
If Sylvester Stallone isn't playing Gabriel Lan, perhaps he can play his best friend. It would be a great opportunity for James Gunn to have some meta fun with the casting of the characters, who are best friends and heralds of Galactus. Even if they don't use Galactus, perhaps the story of Lan and Kril could be changed so that they're lieutenants of Thanos, instead. Maybe Gunn will reunite Stallone with one of his famous co-stars, like Dolph Lundgren, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or... Dolly Parton.
There have been several Marvel characters who carried the Nova alias, but Stallone would be perfect for the Richard Rider version of the character. Guardians of the Galaxy introduced the Nova Corps, but didn't show off any of their superpowered members. Now would be a good time to change that.
Nova gets his powers from the aptly-named Nova Force, and Rider's backstory is curiously similar to that of Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern. Like Jordan, Rider was a human who was selected by a dying alien to replace him as a member of an intergalactic peace-keeping force. Unlike the Green Lantern, however, Richard Rider was only a high school student when he gained his powers.
Casting Sylvester Stallone in the role would pave the way for a stand-alone prequel film (or TV show or whatever) about Rider's background. The character doesn't need to be completely fleshed out in Guardians Vol. 2; he can be mysterious, older, and maybe a bit jaded. Actually, the best reason to cast Stallone as Nova is because his uniform vaguely resembles that of Judge Dredd, a role for which Stallone still has the perfect jawline. The first Dredd film doesn't exactly have a sterling reputation these days (especially compared to the 2012 reboot), but Stallone was a great casting choice back then, and it would be totally within the wheelhouse of director James Gunn to pay homage with a meta nod in the casting of Nova.
Uatu the Watcher is one of Marvel's most iconic characters, and one who has yet to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Something of a cosmic narrator of the universe, Uatu is one of many Watchers, a race of ancient aliens who gather knowledge while making an unbreakable vow of non-interference. Uatu has been studying Earth and its solar system since virtually the dawn of time, and he is the ultimate source of knowledge to Marvel's heroes, though he is usually reluctant to bestow any information, as it often comes at a great price, both to him and to those whom he lends his aid.
Bringing Uatu into the MCU would be valuable because of his ability to see into alternate dimensions, potentially facilitating often-requested crossovers like bringing Wolverine into the MCU or adapting the Spider-Verse story. Just imagine Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland fighting a common, dimension-hopping enemy together!
Stallone often plays more muscle-bound heroes, but Creed proved that he can also shine as a wise, older mentor, and they don't come much older or wiser than Uatu.
The word on the street, based on a leaked passage from the Junior Novel of Guardians Vol. 2, is that Stallone's character is none other than Starhawk. In the comics, Starhawk is from an alternate reality's distant future, living his entire life over and over again, like an everlasting version of Groundhog Day.
Based on the character's rumored appearance in the Junior Novel, Starhawk will not likely be a member of the Guardians, but a senior member of the Ravagers, the space gang of which Yondu (Michael Rooker) is a member. It remains to be seen if this rumor pans out, but it's entirely possible that Stallone's role will be as Starhawk, one of Marvel's most powerful cosmic characters. Marvel has stated their intention to keep Stallone and Kurt Russell around for future movies, so it's very possible that Starhawk (or whoever Stallone's character is) and Ego will have roles to play in Avengers: Infinity War and/or Avengers 4.
1 Groot's Dad
Sylvester Stallone may be an accomplished writer/director/actor, but he's probably best known for his unique Brooklyn drawl, which has been imitated for comedic effect numerous times. It's not entirely dissimilar to Vin Diesel's own vocal cadence, and it sounds like a golden opportunity to get these two action legends to share the screen. Sort of.
Groot has to have come from somewhere, right? Does he have a father? Does that father sound like Sylvester Stallone? The answer to all of these questions should be a resounding "yes," and it would make thematic sense within the film. Guardians Vol. 2 will have a degree of focus on the relationship between Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and his father, played by Kurt Russell. It would be pretty cool if a secondary storyline saw Groot seeking out his own father.
Basically, if a tree version of Sylvester Stallone has an extensive conversation with Vin Diesel, and their rapport consists entirely of the phrase "I am Groot" repeated ad nauseum, then Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be well worth the price of admission, end of story.
What do you think? Who could Sly's character possibly be? Sound off in the comments!