Guardians of the Galaxy just marked a major casting coup a few hours ago with the announcement that Josh Brolin would be playing/voicing/mo-capping (it’s not entirely clear yet) Marvel’s mad titan, Thanos. It remains to be seen how large his role will actually be in Guardians, but there’s no question it’s only the beginning, with Thanos expected to be the main villain in Avengers 3. But Thanos or no Thanos, Guardians already has a primary big bad, and it’s the Kree warrior Ronan the Accuser, played by Lee Pace. With everybody all aflutter over Brolin, let’s take a second to hear what Pace has to say about playing his own nasty blue bad guy.
HitFix was interviewing Pace about the launch of AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, a new drama about the early days of the personal computer revolution. But as the interview was happening on the same day that the latest Guardians of the Galaxy trailer hit the internet, the conversation unsurprisingly turned to Pace’s portrayal of Ronan. In addition to comparing working with Guardians director James Gunn favorably to working with Peter Jackson, Pace told HitFix:
I’m really excited about this character. I mean he’s nuts. I mean I’ve never played anything like it and I’ve had such a good, it’s one of those things where you don’t know how to approach something like this. This is not [Halt and Catch Fire’s] Joe MacMillan. You can’t think, ‘Well, you know, this is my relationship with my father…’ It’s not that. There’s none of that, you now, kind of ‘This is how I would go about dealing with these problems.’ It’s a complete kind of act of imagination. But in the hands of James Gunn, I’m such a fan of his movies. So it’s very much a creation of his and I found myself being like, ‘Alright, let’s do it. You tell me what you’re into here.’
Ronan was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and first appeared in Fantastic Four #65 in 1967. He was a member of the Accuser Corps, essentially the Kree version of “military governors or jurists,” and in the comics he was so good at his job that he eventually became one of the most powerful beings in the Empire, behind the Kree’s so-called Supreme Intelligence. Over the years he’s crossed
swords big purple hammers with the aforementioned Fantastic Four, Captain Marvel, and the Avengers. In Marvel’s alternate reality Ultimate line, Ronan was actually the son of Thanos. There’s no telling what comic elements the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Ronan will draw from, but he certainly does look pretty awesome.
Pace is having a good 2014. In addition to Guardians and Halt and Catch Fire, he’ll be reprising his role as the elven king Thranduil in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies in December. And if you keep thinking, “Where else have I seen that guy?” he played Ned the resurrectionist pie maker in Bryan Fuller’s Pushing Daisies.
Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters on August 1.