It’s no secret that Matthew McConaughey was being courted for a pretty substantial role in an upcoming Marvel movie, though he turned it down to take on an adaptation of Stephen King’s the Dark Tower. It’s also been said by James Gunn that Kurt Russell was the only choice for Ego the Living Planet, father of Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. So it may come as a surprise to some that Matthew McConaughey was being considered for that role, especial since he’s almost 20 years Russell’s junior. But now we have a look at what that may have been like.
An unused piece of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 concept art has surfaced. And while it is low-res, it does show us Mr. Alright, Alright, Alright as the laid back living planet who gave life to Peter Quill. It makes sense somewhat, as Ego doesn’t age really. Not like humans. But clearly Kurt looks more like Chris Pratt in the long run.
McConaughey was in talks to take on the role long before Kurt Russell ever signed on. Perhaps not because they wanted him more. But because James Gunn didn’t think that Kurt would take the job. We can’t legally show you the concept art here. But you can check it out over at Reddit in all it’s glory.
Back in October 2015, the rumor was that Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn wanted to bring on Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey to play a villain in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Just a few weeks later, reports surfaced that the actor was in talks to join Sony’s The Dark Tower adaptation, although at the time it wasn’t clear if he would play Randall Flagg, a.k.a. The Man In Black, or Roland Deschain, a.k.a. The Gunslinger, with the actor eventually confirmed as Flagg. At the time of this news, no one yet knew (SPOILER ALERT) that Ego was the true villain in Guardians Vol. 2.
Over the past five years or so, Matthew McConaughey has forged one hell of a comeback trail, dubbed by some as the “McConaissance,” winning an Oscar for his work in the critically-acclaimed Dallas Buyers Club, while also starring in box office hits (Interstellar, Magic Mike) and critically-acclaimed television shows (True Detective). Many had hoped that Matthew McConaughey would bring his talents to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Guardians of the Galaxy 2, but instead he chose to play Randall Flagg in The Dark Tower, which is set to hit theaters this August. In an interview with Playboy last year, Matthew McConaughey revealed why he turned down the Marvel sequel in favor of the Stephen King adaptation.
“I like Guardians of the Galaxy, but what I saw was ‘It’s successful, and now we’ve got room to make a colorful part for another big-name actor.’ I’d feel like an amendment. The Dark Tower script was well written, I like the director and his take on it, and I can be the creator, the author of the Man in Black-a.k.a. the Devil-in my version of this Stephen King novel. We’ve done the first one. It’s a fantastic thriller that takes place in another realm, an alternate universe, but it’s very much grounded. For instance, the gunslinger’s weapon isn’t a lightsaber or something; it’s a pistol. I enjoyed approaching my character as if I were the Devil having a good time, getting turned on by exposing human hypocrisies wherever he finds them.”
At the time, it was never confirmed what exact role Matthew McConaughey was up for in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. But now, most can’t imagine anyone other than Kurt Russell taking on the role of Ego.
The Dark Tower was originally slated to hit theaters on March 24, 2017, but it was pushed to summer. Right now, Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the biggest movies of the year. We’ll have to wait a few more months to see if The Dark Tower can prove its weight in gold at the box office (only true McConaughDogs will see what I just did there!)