Marvel tends to keep a pretty tight lid on its movies, but that lid seems even tighter than usual for director James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. In fact, we’ve had to get our news from zoomed-in set photos and videos of Chris Pratt trying to raise money for charity lately, which is also why we’re turning to a hot, new rumor to tell us who the big bad in the highly anticipated sequel might be. According to JoBlo’s “independent sources” (via Nerdist), the new villain will be an older Marvel character known as Ayesha, and she’ll be played by The Man From U.N.C.L.E.‘s Elizabeth Debicki, who joined the cast back in February.
Ayesha isn’t an especially big name in the Marvel Universe, at least not on par with the first movie’s Ronan The Accuser. But that’s partly because she’s also known by a bunch of different names, like Kismet, Paragon, and simply Her. In the comics, Ayesha is usually depicted as a tall, blonde woman with the ability to use cosmic energies to do whatever the plot requires, and she was created by a group of evil scientists known as the Enclave who wanted to make the perfect super-being. Of course, the first movie didn’t go into Ronan’s backstory a whole lot, so most of that information could be irrelevant—assuming Debicki is even really playing Her.
However, not to take anything away from Ayesha/Paragon/Kismet/Her, but perhaps the most interesting part of her backstory (for fans of Marvel’s space comics at least) is how it connects to a guy named Adam Warlock. As it turns out, Ayesha was actually the Enclave’s second attempt to create the perfect super-being, with Warlock (also known as Him, appropriately) being the first. Like Ayesha, he has blonde hair and can do pretty much anything, but also he used to show up pretty frequently in the comics so he could fight Thanos, the purple guy in those Marvel Cinematic Universe post-credits stingers. This doesn’t necessarily mean Adam Warlock will also be in Guardians Vol. 2, but it’s not that big of a leap to make if the movie is already pulling stuff like Ayesha from Marvel’s weirdo ’60s and ’70s space comics. Again, though, this is all just hearsay for now.