Guardians 3 brought some major talent aboard with the casting of Chukwudi Iwuji as the High Evolutionary, who will put the intergalactic team of misfits through the emotional wringer from start to finish. This also marks Iwuji's second time working with Gunn after starring as Clemson Murn in Season 1 of Peacemaker, even though his character didn't survive as the DCU expanded to new stories.
Gunn celebrated Iwuji's casting in Guardians 3 as soon as it was made public in November 2021, explaining that he had no intention of letting go of "one of the best actors [he's] ever worked with" in his long career.
But while Iwuji looks to bring one of the most powerful characters in MCU history to the big screen, his casting in this role has brought out the worst in certain sects of the MCU fandom.
James Gunn Claps Back at MCU Comment
Director James Gunn responded to a racist comment from a fan while addressing Chukwudi Iwuji's casting as the High Evolutionary in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
An Instagram user commented on the fact that the character is "another white guy they made into a black guy," blatantly asking why the villain is Black instead of White like in certain source material:
"Damnit... another white guy they made into a black guy. Why couldn’t they just leave him white or i dont know...pick a different minority? How about Asian or gasp! A Latino? (how many Latinos and Asians in MCU? Like total of 5??) Or make him an Indian or something... because they don’t and won’t, that makes them 'woke'. Next time, a major character (hero/villain)will be a trans or homosexual or non-binary (when in comics they are not). Sad and pathetic. They’re picking based on race and whats PC and not on acting and whats established."
Gunn replied that he "chose the best actor...and the best person" for this part, not caring whatsoever about what race Iwuji is. He urged the fan to move away from their racist remarks, even commenting on how the character himself is often purple in color:
"I chose the best actor, period, and the best person for the role. I don’t give a shit what ethnicity Chukwudi Iwuji is, so stop with your racist presumptions on WHY he was chosen. (And, by the way, he’s playing a guy who’s almost always purple in the color.)"
This isn't the first time Gunn has addressed racist comments like this against Iwuji, previously calling him "the best actor [he's] ever worked with" when another fan complained about the villain's race being switched in December 2022:
"Because Chuk is the best actor I’ve ever worked with, that’s why. Has zero to do with race."
Gunn Standing Up for Marvel Stars
James Gunn is never one to hold his tongue when he sees something wrong, whether it be setting the record straight on rumors or coming back at fans who offer commentary like this one.
Racism in the entertainment industry has been an unfortunate topic of conversation over the past few years, especially considering the sagas surrounding actors like DC's Ray Fisher and Star Wars' Moses Ingram. But in this case, Gunn quickly shut down a fan who offered that kind of commentary on Chukwudi Iwuji, making it clear that Iwuji deserves the role due to his talent and work ethic.
Now, fans continue to wait for more news on what his High Evolutionary will do in Guardians 3, particularly with the movie's trailers teasing some epic action from the team's latest bad guy.
And with this threequel expected to kill off at least one member of the Guardians before all is said and done, viewers are expecting some ruthlessness and aggressiveness out of Iwuji in this highly-anticipated adventure.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will hit theaters on May 5.