“Has zero to do with race”: James Gunn Finally Addresses Race-Swap Allegations Leveled on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

James Gunn Finally Addresses Race-Swap Allegations Leveled on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
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Guardians of the Galaxy’s director James Gunn responds to the latest race-swapping controversy. Marvel Studios has progressively improved when it comes to diversity of the cast. Ten years ago, we never had that much-varied representation of cultures and ethnicities in movies and TV shows. Now, we have actors and actresses from different countries as well as gender-bender roles.

James Gunn DC Studios
James Gunn

It seems like race-swapping is still an issue when it comes to the audience. Casting a Black actor for an originally white character is a surefire way of enraging some people on social media. It is not a new controversy, but a persisting one. The latest to receive the backlash is Guardians of the Galaxy’s High Evolutionary.

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James Gunn Responds To Race-Swapping Issue On GOTG Vol. 3 Casting

Chukwudi Iwuji has been tapped to play the role of the High Evolutionary in the third installment of the Guardians franchise. The character is originally white in the comics, and many fans have started questioning Gunn about his choice of actor.

Gunn did not waste time and explained that he chose Iwuji because he is simply the best actor fit for the role. “Because Chuck is the best actor I’ve ever worked with, that’s why. Has zero to do with race,” his prompt reply.


High Evolutionary originally appeared as a British scientist named Herbert Edgar Wyndham in Marvel Comics. Iwuji’s casting caused an uproar in social media, with some even asking why Mark Hamill was not chosen for the role instead of race-swapping another character. Despite Gunn’s response, some fans were still unsatisfied and insisted on casting the right person, and by that, they meant the one who looked exactly like the character depicted in the source material.

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Chukwudi Iwuji James Gunn 1
Chukwudi Iwuji

This is not the first time Marvel Studios swapped race, gender, and sexual orientation. The company is all about bringing diversity into its platform. For years, fans have become used to seeing straight white males and females on screens. Now, we have the likes of Ms. Marvel, Shang-Chi, and Black Panther.


Let us also not forget that Marvel cast Tilda Swinton for the role of the Ancient One in Doctor Strange. The original character is an old Asian man, and the swapping of race and gender became the talk of the town once again.

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Marvel Studios Continues To Embrace Diversity In Movies And Television

Chukwudi Iwuji James Gunn
Chukwudi Iwuji

MCU continues to expand its horizon, and many new characters will be introduced in the coming years. It may upset many fans, but the studio believes in talent more than anything. Any actor or actress who can deliver exemplary performance, despite race or orientation, should be given the big break they deserve.


The casting of Chukwudi Iwuji has clearly nothing to do with race. James Gunn saw his potential and, as the director firmly said, “Greatest actor and greatest guy around. No one has ever made casting choices for any of my films other than me.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will arrive in theaters on May 5, 2023.

Source: CBR


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Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 2117

Ariane Cruz, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.