Marvel and Gunn wanted Matthew McConaughey to play the villain in the superhero sequel, but the actor recently passed, leaving the search for that part still in progress. Sources say that decision should be made in the coming weeks, as production is expected to begin in early 2016.
Matthew had confirmed reports previously he had been in the mix for comic book projects, which led to a rumor he was being eyed for Norman Osborne in Marvel’s Spider-Man reboot. That doesn’t seem to be the case as Guardians was the actual project he was approached for by the studio, according to this new report.
I’m curious what the role would be, some have speculated it will turn out to be Star-Lord’s father, which for ages has assumed to be Adam Warlock. It’s hard to ignore how passable Matthew could be for relative of Chris Pratt. However, I think there’s another actor that could take up this role, and would be a huge nod to the first film.
I wouldn’t be terribly shocked if James Gunn’s pal Kevin Bacon and villain from his film Super takes-up the role, as it would be amazingly meta after the actor was referenced by name in the last installment. Bacon, also recently starred in Spider-Man director Jon Watt’s film Cop Car, so it’s hard to imagine that Kevin Bacon isn’t in the back of their minds at Marvel.
Joaquin Phoenix (Walk The Line, Gladiator, Her, Inherent Vice) was previously in the mix to play both Bruce Banner and Dr. Stephen Strange, turning down the parts for whatever reasoning. However, I think he’d be a better fit for the Magnus role, which might be desirable for him due to it’s complexity.
Rumors have even suggested that Magus, the future villainous alter-ego of Marvel hero and Guardian Adam Warlock could be the big bad of the film alongside Thanos. A casting-call picked-up by IGN, seemingly reveals that Magus and Warlock will have a large roles in Infinity War, planting seeds in Guardians wouldn’t be a terrible idea. It’s likely whoever plays Magus will also be playing Warlock.