Given that the screen legend played Ego the Living Planet in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, you might suppose that dad Kurt would have been the obvious choice for Falcon and Winter Soldier’s debuting Wyatt Russell. However, according to Collider , Russell Jr. said he spoke with director James Gunn about his cosmic sequel first.
“I knew a couple of people who had done it. The person that I called and that I really listened to the most was James Gunn. We became friendly because he produced a movie that my wife (Meredith Hagner) was in, called Brightburn. James is just a great filmmaker, and I’ve always deferred to great filmmakers. They’re the ones who are making the movies and they’re the ones who have their hands on all the buttons, so they have contact in every area and experience in every area.
I really did lean on his opinion of what the character was. I didn’t know much about the character when I got it, and he just gave great advice. He said, “Look, they’re great to work with. They make sure that it’s good.” Coming from him, that vote of confidence really did make me feel like, “Okay, we can make this good. I can make this character fun. I can make him interesting. I can make people enjoy hating to watch or enjoy watching this character because he’ll have many different things going on. And they’re allowing me to do that. They want the conflict.” That was really the person I leaned the most on.”
Of course, Russell also spoke with his father about his MCU experiences, so it’s not as if Kurt was completely excluded from the discussion. The actor made the correct choice in agreeing to join the franchise when he was criticized by fans at John Walker’s arrival in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.