John C. Reilly’s Role in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Revealed (Updated)


When we first heard that John C. Reilly had been offered a role in Marvel’s upcoming space odyssey, Guardians of the Galaxy, the story was that he was probably going to be playing a character named Rhomann Dey, who is a member of an intergalactic police force called the Nova Corps in the comics, but who would apparently be a SHIELD member who acted as a liaison to the stars in this story. This was confusing and made no sense. Why take an alien character with an alien name and arbitrarily turn him into some other human character for no reason? Why not just name this character something else?

Well, it turns out the reason everything was so confusing was that it was all a bunch of bullpucky. All except the most important part—that John C. Reilly actually was offered a role in Guardians of the Galaxy. Luckily for us, a new report from Deadline not only clears up the confusion around the role that Reilly was offered, it also confirms that the actor is now officially on board.

So, what’s the role he’s really going to be playing? Turns out nobody named Rhomann Dey at all, and certainly not a lowly SHIELD agent (apologies, Agent Coulson). According to Deadline’s report, Reilly is actually going to be playing a super strong, invisibility exoskeleton-wearing, magic hammer-wielding villain named Ronan the Accuser. He’s basically an alien race called the Kree’s version of Judge Dredd. So yeah, this version of the John C. Reilly joining Guardians of the Galaxy story is way more exciting.

And unlike that original report, it makes sense. If you look at the backstories of most of the characters involved in Guardians of the Galaxy, the big thing they all have in common is that they have some sort of connection to Thanos, the all-powerful intergalactic conqueror who’s currently looming in the background of the Marvel Movie Universe as its eventual big bad. Ronan fits this pattern, because, though he didn’t start out that way in the original Marvel stories, recent depictions in their Ultimate Universe of comics have changed the character to make him Thanos’ son, and one of the main supporters of his empire.

Could it be that Reilly’s Ronan will actually be the main villain of this Guardians story, which will provide us with the next step toward Thanos inching his way ever so slightly out of the shadows en route to his eventual clash with the Avengers? Maybe, maybe not. It’s certainly a theory that makes some sense though, and at least we’re going to get to see John C. Reilly wear space-armor and hold a huge hammer.

Update from Deadline: “I got it backward. John C. Reilly will play Rhomann Dey, leader of the Nova Corps.”

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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