We've known for some time that Sylvester Stallone had a mystery role in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2, but now it seems that it's a more important role than initially suspected. James Gunn has just revealed that he and Smallville’s former Lex Luthor, Michael Rosenbaum are both key figures, no matter how much screen time they have.
Appearing on The Adam Corolla Show recently, Gunn offered the following tease:
“We do have a couple of characters who are very important to the Marvel Universe who are going to make their debut in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 which people don't know about. Sylvester Stallone plays one of these characters...my friend Michael Rosenbaum also has a pretty decent role in the movie as well and it sort of works in tandem with Sly's character."
Some speculation has previously suggested Stallone might be playing a member of the Nova Corps - which clearly wouldn't make him "very important" - or possibly someone like the High Evolutionary. That might be too much, given that the character would requite his own movie to do him justice, but there is one suggestion that seems particularly intriguing.
What if Stallone is playing The Living Tribunal?
In the comics, the character is billed as the law-keeper among cosmic entities, who safeguards the universe from mystical imbalance. While his three-faced design (each represents a tool of his judgement - Necessity, Vengeance and Equity) would require something special he might fit with the presence of Ego and the rumbling suggestion that he's actually the real villain of the film.
Consider it this way: the plot could reveal Ego's villainy for the final act, with the Guardians struggling to take him down - given that he's an actual planet and a Cosmic Entity himself - only for The Living Tribunal to turn up and exact his judgement that Ego's nefarious activity is imbalancing the universe unfairly. He'd be basically the only character who could end that storyline with Ego defeated.
And just imagine the glee at Stallone getting the chance to say "I am the law..." again.
There's something in the way Gunn talks about the character as important to the Marvel Universe rather than Marvel Cinematic Universe that suggests he's that sort of character. There is of course the possibility that he's playing one of the Elders of the galaxy - alongside the Collector and the Grand Master from Thor: Ragnarok, but there's not as easy a way to write him in as The Living Tribunal.
And none of that really explains who James Gunn's friend Michael Rosenbaum would be playing, but there's every chance he's playing a ward to the character. His casting doesn't feel like one that will reappear in another MCU film because of his relationship with Gunn, so you'd have to imagine he's less significant than Stallone. And he's hardly going to be playing Adam Warlock.
What do you think of this theory? Share your reactions below in the comments thread.