The #MCU is traditionally viewed as having something of a "villain problem," but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was surely an exception. James Gunn's script gave us a thrilling villain with motives that are about as devilish as they can get; and who can forget the chill of horror as Nebula and Gamora discover the evil that is Ego?
Kurt Russell was perfect for the role — but, surprisingly, he wasn't the only actor considered for the part. Other names considered were Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, Viggo Mortensen, and Christopher Plummer, and a fan-favorite was Matthew McConaughey. Now, MCUExchange has uncovered concept art for McConaughey's version of Ego:
It's not exactly a good-quality photo, but it definitely gives us an intriguing insight into how Ego was created. The gauntlets appear to be similar to the ones worn by Kurt Russell in the final movie, but there the similarities end. Even the color-tone is radically different — Russell's version was in natural browns, while McConaughey's was sleek and dark. One is more fantasy, the other more science-fiction.
Personally, I think the final Ego designs work better: The use of natural colors links in well to his powerset, while the overall design is akin to a traditional Judeo-Christian image of God. That's appropriate for a Celestial who essentially considers himself to be a god.
As MCUExchange note, the design suggests that #Marvel worked hard to create unique, individualized takes on Ego for all the actors they seriously considered for the role. That suggests that had McConaughey gotten the part, we could have wound up with a very different aesthetic; would the use of sleek, futuristic designs have been integrated into the buildings on Ego's surface?
This concept art offers an intriguing glimpse into the world as it could have been, and gives us a sense of just how carefully Marvel consider every detail when working through their designs. Personally, I think the right man was cast for the role in the end — the dynamic between Kurt Russell and Chris Pratt was easily one of the highlights of the film.
What role do you think Matthew McConaughey would be suited for in the MCU? Let me know in the comments!