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How Chukwudi Iwuji Landed The Role Of High Evolutionary In ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’

Chukwudi Iwuji as The High Evolutionary in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 marks the end of an era for several heroes in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Not just because our favorite band of intergalactic misfits have grown up – and arguably apart – over the last decade, but because they face their greatest threat yet in the form of Chukwudi Iwuji’s High Evolutionary.

While this is Iwuji’s first major role on the big screen, during the press conference for the film director James Gunn revealed that the actor’s talent is what ultimately got him cast – not his experience.

When asked how it felt to be a part of the film, Iwuji said that he felt like Homer Simpson.

READ: Chris Pratt Is Down To Appear In 3 More ‘Guardians’ Films

“You know when Homer doesn’t know what to say and doesn’t understand what you just said. And the camera stays on him and he keeps doing that?” he said. “That’s what it was.”

Iwuji then revealed that Gunn had first approached him about the role while they were working on the Peacemaker spin-off at HBO Max. At first he thought he was getting fired.

“We were filming the dance sequence for Peacemaker,” he said. “And [then] James said, ‘Can I have a word with you? I have something I want to talk to you about.'”

After being asked, Iwuji joked that Gunn was probably confusing him for Academy Award nominee Chiwatel Ejiofor (Doctor Strange, The Lion King). Gunn laughed, before saying “I want you.”

Chukwudi Iwuji as The High Evolutionary in Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

Iwuji was shocked by how serious Gunn was, but he knew how badly the director wanted him when he offered to collaborate with him for a screen test. “I thought that was gonna happen in the
next few days. I think it was, like, six weeks or five weeks before I actually got the screen test done,” Iwuji said.

While Gunn had all but assured Iwuji that he had the job before the actual screen test, Iwuji confessed that he did not want to get his hopes high. “The closest I’ve come to Marvel is my local IMAX,” he joked.
“I wasn’t gonna believe that I had the job yet, especially since we still had to do a bloody tape.”

At the press conference, Gunn also admitted that although other actors were shown to Kevin Feige, he had his heart set on Iwuji playing the villain. If the film’s reviews are any indication, there’s no denying he made a perfect choice.

READ: Pete Davidson’s ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3’ Character Revealed

Last we saw the Guardians was during Thor: Love and Thunder, where Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Rocket (Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel) were joined by Thor (Chris Hemsworth) as they search for Gamora (Zoe Saldana), who disappeared following the final battle with Thanos and his army.

In Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 our beloved band of misfits are looking a bit different these days. Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him to defend the universe along with protecting one of their own. A mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.

Will Poulter (The Revenant) also joins the cast this time around as Adam Warlock, with Peacemaker star Chukwudi Iwuji as the villainous High Evolutionary.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is in theaters now.

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