During San Diego Comic-Con 2016, at the Marvel panel, we were flat out told who Kurt Russell was playing in the movie, despite it being a secret up until that point; not only he is Star-Lord’s father, but he is also Ego the Living Planet, and not J’Son of Spartax, like in the comics. His costume from the film was also revealed to us on Twitter and Instagram. Many fans, unable to avoid the news, were a bit dismayed; the character change was so out of left field, they felt it would’ve added a nice twist on the movie’s story. Director James Gunn has responded by telling us it’s not a spoiler. But how?
James Gunn has been known to interact with his fans on Facebook, dispelling false rumors and putting them at ease when needed; this time was no different. He took to the social media platform with a rather long post, saying both if it were up to him, he wouldn’t reveal the character at all, and to say how it was basically impossible for them not to reveal the character beforehand due to several factors.
“People have been particularly excited, confused, and supportive of keeping Marvel Cosmic truly cosmic with the reveal of Peter Quill’s father’s identity….I get it. If we lived in a perfect world, I wouldn’t tell you ANYTHING before you walked in to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2….However, the world is imperfect.”
One of these major factors turned out to be simple advertising; studios are obliged to sink a lot of money into advertising efforts to get non-fans as excited about the films as fans already would have been, and that Ego plays such an integral role to the film, it would have been “impossible” to advertise without showing him off. Since the studio controls the creative advertising, it was always up to them what, and what not, to reveal. He also went on to criticize online journalists who do not respect fans’ wishes and dig for spoilers to get scoops. He’s quoted as saying:
“Secondly, there are journalists online who love giving you scoops about characters and plot twists in upcoming films. Ego is such a big part of the movie, this was going to come out soon, as much as we’ve tried to hide it (when our online press day happened on set, Kurt Russell sat in a chair that read “J’son,” and all of our script pages and artwork featuring him used the same name). Frankly, I would rather be in control of the announcement myself than have it come out on SpoilersRUs.com in a few weeks.”
He went on to assuage fans fears by telling them that “knowing who Quill’s father is will not diminish your enjoyment of the film in any way.” Ego’s character was never meant to be hidden in the first place, because he is “the emotional center of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 from the beginning to the end, and is not a twist.” Gunn finished his post by assuring fans that there were many more ‘surprises’ in store for the fans that wouldn’t be spoiled by the time the movie hit, and they could look forward to them.
We will have to find out what those surprises are when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits on May 5th, 2017.