Guardians 3 star says High Evolutionary is one of Marvel’s most irredeemable villains

Guardians of the Galaxy 3
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

From Thanos to Killmonger, the MCU has had its fair share of brutal villains, but Guardians of the Galaxy 3 may have just introduced the most irredeemable yet in Chukwudi Iwuji’s High Evolutionary. Described as a brilliant scientist with a penchant for genetic engineering, the actor behind him warns GamesRadar+ that there’s no humanity left in Marvel’s new bad guy. 

"He doesn't have any redeeming qualities," Iwuji explains of his character in James Gunn’s MCU swan song. "He's a proper villain you know, proper with a capital P. He's going after something terrifying, he makes you very uncomfortable, and you're waiting for him to get his comeuppance. And those [qualities] are very fun to play without any apology or any craving for sympathy from the audience's side."

Without delving into spoiler territory, the High Evolutionary plays a crucial role in Rocket Racoon’s backstory. Described in early reviews as the darkest the MCU has gone so far, even Iwuji explains he was shocked by how brutal they went. 

"I was a little bit surprised I won’t lie," he admits. "We’ve all come up on Marvel movies. We've seen the sympathy that a lot of the movies draw out for the villains, which is not the case here."

This manifests in High Evolutionary’s similarity to real-life figures too. "There's something very horribly recognizable about him when you look at the world and despots of the past," Iwuji adds of his character's murky motives. 

Guardians of the Galaxy 3

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

However, he’s not alone in the baddie camp for Guardians 3 as Will Poulter makes his MCU debut as Adam Warlock. The comic book favorite was first teased back in the second movie’s post-credits scenes.

In the source material, he’s described as a perfect being created to destroy the Guardians of the Galaxy, but Gunn's version is a little different. Adam may be freakishly powerful but he’s still in his infancy, which Poulter tells GR+ may surprise audiences.

"So much of what James does is characterized by subverting people's expectations and putting unique and distinct spins on things," he explains. "I think the way that Adam is introduced is no different. This is Adam in the early stages of his development – hopefully with a view to exploring his evolution."

Like with Iwuji, playing the bad guy was a joy for the actor, who’s previously known for roles in Midsommar and The Maze Runner. "It was really fun to play him in his infancy because it gave me an opportunity I think to show someone who was genuinely on a path to self-development in the early stages, making mistakes," Poulter says. "It may surprise folks, but it felt typically James Gunn."

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 arrives in theaters on May 3 in the UK and May 5 in the US. For more on the MCU, check out our breakdown of how to watch the Marvel movies in order and all the upcoming Marvel movies and shows on the way.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.