One of the things that fans have appreciated about the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole is that while it does bring in the “standard villains” into the mix more times than not, it also goes for “reaches” that most fans won’t be aware of. In the case of the Guardians of the Galaxy saga, they’ve done that quite a bit. And the upcoming Vol.3 will do that via Chukwudi Iwuji, who will be playing the character known as the High Evolutionary.
In the comics, he’s a character that is obsessed with creating some of the most powerful and unique lifeforms in the universe (and he’s focused on the X-Men quite a bit…). In the next GOTG movie, he’ll have a series connection to Rocket Racoon, but it’s more than that:
“It’s so interesting that people have been narrowing it down just to Rocket because [The High Evolutionary] is the big bad of the movie,” he says. “So, he plays a big part in a lot of people’s stories and I think they’re going to be a few surprises with that.”
Chukwudi Iwuji also noted that while he’s a “sociopath”, James Gunn told him to play the character a different way:
“I think one of the things [director James Gunn] said to me is that this guy, he’s a very powerful, villain but I need you to to ground him,” Iwuji explains. “It should be sort of weird that, yes, he’s a marvel villain, but I need him grounded, so I think he’s he sort of crosses genres. There’s something of the James Bond villain in him, there’s something of the mad scientist in him, there’s something of a Marvel villain in him,, and then there’s something — and I say because my background is Shakespeare — there’s something of King Lear going mad in him, and Richard III. It really straddled all the parts of my career that I enjoyed and I could bring to the role.”
It’ll be very interesting to see what the High Evolutionary is like when the character arrives in the movie next May.