So, we were all surprised by the announcement that Kurt Russell is playing Ego, the Living Planet in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Not many would have guessed that one, and I think we are all trying to wrap our heads around how a planet can be Peter Quill's father.
It seems that James Gunn isn't messing with us though, and on top of that, this character isn't just a joke. In a Facebook post, Gunn talked about a great many things after Marvel's Panel, and went deep on Ego. In it, he goes into a little bit about the character and how he treated this concept in a similar way he did with Rocket, a ridiculous character that has a real heart to them.
Also, he referred to him as "A planet. Sort of." so you can read into that what you will.
Here is all the relevant parts from his post about Ego. It's a great read.
Yeah, his dad is a planet. Sort of. It will all be explained in the film..
But to me, this is the absolute center of Vol. 2, and one of the reasons I've been so excited about it. When Marvel first approached me with the first movie, I thought, "Wait a second? A talking raccoon? Isn't that a rather ridiculous idea to base a movie around?"
It was then that I took a step back and asked myself: Okay, if a raccoon could talk, and shoot a machine gun, how could that be? And answering that question ended up being the entire foundation of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1. There was a sadness in the answer. Rocket was an animal experimented upon, torn apart and put back together, without compassion. He was the only being of his type, had never known any hint of kindness, and was utterly and completely alone until he met his fellow Guardians. And, one of them in particular – Groot – thought it was worth sacrificing his life for his sake. This melancholy and beautiful undercurrent helped to ground the character for me. He had far more in common with Frankenstein's monster than he did Bugs Bunny. And I related to him, greatly, and I hoped other folks who felt like outsiders would as well.
Ego seemed, in many ways, like an even more ridiculous character. But I asked myself, if a planet was alive, how could that be? And how could it father a child?
The answers to those questions took me to a far deeper place that I expected. I don't want to give away too many answers at this time. But what Nova Prime said about Peter's father at the end of Vol. 1 is certainly true – he is something ancient and unknown. And, as we will discover, being a cosmic being, alone for eons, is perhaps even more lonely than being the universe's sole talking raccoon.
I can't wait for you guys to see Kurt Russell bring this character to life onscreen. It has been a rapturous experience creating Ego with him. We have both pushed ourselves as far as we can go in making him real, and grounded, and emotionally centered.
I'm willing to go with Gunn here. He has shown in the first film he has a grasp of these out there characters. Can't wait.