guardians of the galaxy vol.2
The ‘Smallville’ alum opens up about auditioning to play Star-Lord and the rather crass autograph the ‘Star Wars’ star once gave him.
After cementing himself as DC comic book royalty on the small screen, Michael Rosenbaum has shifted to Marvel with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
The Indiana-raised actor played Lex Luthor for seven seasons on TV’s Smallville and has earned fan acclaim for voicing The Flash in DC animated properties. This month, he returns to his comic roots as Martinex, an associate of Sylvester Stallone’s Ravager character Stakar. It’s a homecoming of sorts, as Rosenbaum — whose podcast Inside of You With Michael Rosenbaum launches in June — auditioned for friend and director James Gunn for the role of Star-Lord in the original Guardians.
In a conversation with Heat Vision, Rosenbaum opens up about reading for the role that ultimately went to Chris Pratt, his Smallville years and his surprising friendship with the late Carrie Fisher.
Marvel and Disney are known for their secrecy. When you landed the role of Martinex, how much of the script did they share?
I got the whole script. It was watermarked with my name. I knew Yondu [Michael Rooker] died before we shot it … I was sitting at the premiere with Michael Rooker and I could tell he was choking up at the end … it really says something when a man can get emotional about his own work.
You’ve written and sold several projects. If you could write something for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, what would it be?
I’d love to write Power Pack. It came out in the ’80s … these young siblings get powers from an alien race right as their dad builds this planet-destroying weapon, which another alien race wants. It’s got that Spielberg/Stranger Things vibe. I could really take that concept and make it fresh.
You worked with Sylvester Stallone on Guardians 2. What was your favorite moment with him?
I love James’ [Gunn] taste in music, but he hates a lot of the ’80s shit that I like. I remember belting out this really obscure ’80s song and suddenly Stallone joins in … I look over at James and he’s just staring at me with this “f— you” look on his face.
You auditioned for the role of Peter Quill in the first Guardians. Can you talk about the screen test? Was it strange being in front of Gunn, who is a friend?
Yes, I was nervous as shit (laughs). You’re sitting there with one of your best friends who’s directing a huge movie, who knows your ability and said, “I wanna see your take on Peter Quill.” Now the pressure’s on. I just had to shut it off … I remember coming up with my own dance for the Star-Lord dance scene. I had a great partner, it felt really organic right from the start.
Were you disappointed when you didn’t get the part?
You know, I didn’t really care about getting the part. I didn’t know anything about the Guardians comics. I just wanted to do a good job for James.
Did you know Chris Pratt was cast before that became public?
Yeah, I’d heard. Chris is amazing in that role.
Were things weird between you and Gunn after that?
No, not at all. The way I look at it … I was privileged to be one of the few people that got to screen test. I was so honored and grateful that James had me audition.
How do you draw the line between friendship and business?
Friendship comes first 100 percent of the time. You don’t question it. I want to see my friends succeed … if they have the ability to cast me in something, that’s great. If not, I don’t think twice.
Talk about your relationship with Carrie Fisher. How did you two meet?
Carrie’s assistant reached out because Carrie’s daughter wanted a signed photo of Lex. I said, “Tell her I want a signed picture from Return of the Jedi!” Carrie actually sent the photo, which I keep in my office. It says, “Blow me — Carrie.”
At the time I was filming the first season of Smallville and living in a hotel. She said, “Why are you living in a hotel? I have these little bungalows at my house, Meryl Streep stays there, Richard Dreyfuss stays there, you could, too … it’s got its own kitchen, you’d never have to see me.”
So I stayed there for three months and I wrote like crazy. She really showed me the way when it came to writing, and she never asked for anything, she just said, “Buy me a gift when you’re done.” So I bought her a skylight for her living room.
She was just an amazing person, she embraced mental illness like no one had ever done and she was just so giving. Her house was always open to everybody, and she was so smart. I remember listening to her and saying to her, “I don’t understand a f—ing word you just said.” She said, “Oh, f— you, why don’t you try reading, Rosenbaum?!”
Carrie was always there for her friends. If I said, “Man, I feel like shit,” she’d say, “Why? Do you wanna talk?”
What’s one of the strangest things that happened with Fisher?
I remember lying on her giant bed with Michael Keaton, Tracey Ullman, Nicole Kidman and Carrie … just lying on her bed … laughing and talking. I thought, “Where am I?” Then she tried hooking me up with Nicole Kidman. Nicole is so out of my league … Carrie took me over to Nicole, said one sentence, and just left me with her. It was never gonna happen, but I’ll always remember that.
We’d have parties at her place with my friends and her friends. It was like Meg Ryan with my stoner friend Roger. It was a great relationship. She was just a powerful human being.
Michael Rosenbaum can also be seen performing stand-up comedy at places around Los Angeles such as the Laugh Factory and the Comedy Store, and will be touring with his band The Sandwich this summer in Germany. More information can be found here.
Warning: The following article contains potential spoilers for Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2
After the world premiere of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, we finally learned who Michael Rosenbaum plays in the movie — but it wasn’t easy to spot him due to his CGI enhanced appearance.
In #GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol2, Rosenbaum is portraying Martinex T’Naga, a character who bears more than a passing resemblance to Iceman from the X-Men. As a result of this, it’s hard to see Rosenbaum due to the CGI that James Gunn used to create his appearance. However, whether you spotted him or not, it seems likely that Rosenbaum’s character may be set up for an expanded role in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3, which has already been confirmed with James Gunn in the directing chair once more.
Martinex’s leader, Stakar formed a team at the end of the film, so there’s definitely room for this new character to enjoy a more expanded role in the MCU. Whether he appears in GOTG3 remains to be seen though, but for now, check out this brief breakdown of Martinex T’Naga’s comic origins.
Comic Book Origins Of Martinex
In the comics, Martinex is a native of Pluto. As a Pluvian, he was born with a body formed of a crystal like substance, providing him with enhanced strength and the ability to project energy blasts.
When Pluto was attacked by the Badoon, Martinex fled the planet in search of help. During his escape, Martinex found Vance Astro, Charlie-27, Aleta, Starhawk, Yondu, and Nikki, who joined together to become the first iteration of the #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy.
After surviving the Badoon invasion and forming a team, the Guardians took the fight right to them. The newly formed Guardians didn’t waste any time taking down Badoon outposts throughout the star systems.
Eventually, the Guardians battle with the Badoon reached Earth and it was there that their conflict reached its climax, when Martinex himself executed their leader, Koord. With a win over the Badoon, the Guardians of the Galaxy then set their sights on other villains like Michael Korvac, who would one day become one of their greatest foes.
At one point, Martinex underwent a strange physical transformation, which led to him taking a leave from the Guardians in order to form a new team who would become known as the Galactic Guardians. Martinex would go on to lead several incarnations of this team, acting somewhat like an intergalactic version of Nick Fury, recruiting heroes in space.
How Much Of The Comics Will Influence Martinex In The MCU?
After reviewing Martinex’s comic origins closely, it doesn’t seem like many elements from the comics will be incorporated into the MCU. However, we do know that Martinex will be an ally to Stakar in GOTG2, so there’s also a good chance that he’ll be allied with Yondu at some point as well.
On the other hand though, Martinex’s allegiance to Stakar could also result in conflict between him and Yondu. In that scenario, there would be more friction between the Guardians, much like there is in the comics. After all, most iterations of the Guardians don’t work well together at first, so this isn’t outside the realms of possibility.
As for the potential in Stakar / Martinex’s team to encounter the Badoon, that matter is another factor still undetermined. In the comics, the Guardians’ main goal was to stop the Badoon, but we haven’t seen them yet in the MCU as Fox owns the rights to the onscreen portrayal. If a deal can be negotiated though, then there’s a chance that The Badoon may be saved for GOTG3, which seems plausible after seeing Stakar and his Guardians cohorts were seen together at the end of GOTG2.
Whether any of this comes to pass or not, the events of GOTG2 seems to imply that Martinex and Stakar will form a team similar to the original Guardians from Marvel comics. The introduction of characters such as Charlie-27, Aleta, and Mainframe adds more evidence towards the possibility of this team forming sometime between now and the events of #GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol3.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is just a few weeks away, and there are still some things we don’t know. Although we found out the identity of Sylvester Stallone’s character earlier this week, it remains a mystery as to who Michael Rosenbaum is playing. However, the actor himself has given a few clues as to his role during the red carpet premiere of the film last night.
“Well, I’m in the movie, and I can’t really say the role I’m playing because James Gunn swore me to secrecy,” said Rosenbaum. “But it’s with Stallone, and it’s an important role. I’m not allowed to say anything other than that. I can’t wait to see it, I haven’t seen it, and I’ve been waiting a year to be able to say something. So it’s really exciting, I’m really excited. The fans are awesome. This is incredible. So I’m going to see it for the first time, too. I’m not going to tell you what I look like, either. You’re just going to have to see the movie. I don’t have to shave my head again, so that’s good.”
While still not much to go on, there are a few things here. We know that he is with Stallone in the movie, and that it seems that this is a role that James Gunn really wants to keep secret. Which means that the character in question will likely be an exciting reveal. The mind continues to go wild. Who do you think he’s playing? Let us know!
Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is scheduled for release on April 28th 2017 in the UK and on May 5th in the States, with director James Gunn reuniting with returning cast members Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), Bradley Cooper (Rocket), Vin Diesel (Groot), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Michael Rooker (Yondu), Glenn Close (Nova Prime), Sean Gunn (Kraglin) and Laura Haddock (Meredith Quill) alongside new additions Pom Klementieff (Oldboy) as Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) as Ayesha, Kurt Russell (The Hateful Eight) as Ego the Living Planet, Chris Sullivan (The Drop) as Taserface, Tommy Flanagan (Sons of Anarchy) as Tulik, Sylvester Stallone (Creed) as Stakar and Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville) in an as-yet-unrevealed role.
James Gunn has revealed that Smallville actor Michael Rosenbaum will play a significant role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (out May 5). Gunn also teased the characters played by both Rosenbaum and Sylvester Stallone. The director made the announcement during an appearance on The Adam Carolla Show podcast.
“We do have a couple of characters who are very important to the Marvel universe, who are going to make their debut in Guardians Vol. 2, that people don’t know about,” said Gunn. “And Sylvester Stallone plays one of these characters… But I will say that 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.”
Rosenbaum subsequently tweeted about Gunn’s announcement. “I kept yapper shut 4 a year but can finally say what James Gunn announced on Adam Carolla,” he wrote. “I’m in freaking Guardians.”
Rosenbaum played Lex Luthor on Smallville and previously worked with the Guardians director on James Gunn’s PG Porn, a web series created by Gunn and his two brothers, Sean and Brian.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is released May 5.