They say you can’t choose your parents but in the world of film, you can. It's something megastar Chris Pratt took full advantage of when he suggested Escape from New York legend Kurt Russell should be the one to play Peter Quill’s father, Ego, in Marvel sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.
Since Quill's mother first mentioned him as "an angel composed of pure light" there has been a mystery about who or what Quill’s father is, all sorts of questions raised from the rumours of him not being human to whether he dad dances or if "pelvic sorcery" is hereditary.
One thing we do know is that cinema has given us some pretty epic fathers, from the powerful to those just overcoming the odds. So how does Ego square up to other fathers in the movie hall of fame?
Darth Vader – Star Wars
It’s been said that Guardians is influenced by Star Wars, and this trend looks set to continue as the former now shares another thing in common with the latter: the mystery parentage of its central character.
OK, so Vader won’t win the World’s Best Father award but he is pretty epic, not just because of his dark side powers but because of the way his history was first revealed. The Empire Strikes Back still holds the baton as the most shocking family revelation in film history. Whether Kurt's character Ego will be bringing with him similarly catastrophic, awe-inspiring revelations remains to be seen.
Marlin – Finding Nemo
In the latest Guardians trailer, we see Star-Lord senior finally come face to face with his son as he says: "After all these years, I have found you". It seems Ego has been scouring the entire galaxy to be reunited with his offspring which reminds us of another movie dad: Marlin from Finding Nemo.
After his son Nemo gets lost in the vast ocean, this protective clown fish joins forces with a forgetful Regal Blue Tang called Dory to find him. The reason Marlin belongs amongst the other epic dads here is how he beats the odds to be reconciled with his son.
Bryan Mills – Taken
In Guardians of the Galaxy, we learn that Peter Quill's DNA contains "something ancient we've never seen before", which might explain how he was able to grab the infinity stone in the dramatic conclusion.
Who knows what other hidden skills he and his father might have? One on-screen dad who does possess a very special skill set is Liam Neeson's Taken badass. A former CIA agent, he is ruthless when it comes to fighting to protect his daughter who has been kidnapped and if you mess with him he will find you and will he kill you.
Daniel Hillard – Mrs. Doubtfire
As we can see in the Guardians Vol. 2 trailer the character of Ego has undergone something of a transformation in his journey from comic to big screen, the Living Planet incarnation of the former giving way to the recognisably human features of Kurt Russell.
Another father who underwent a transformation was Robin Williams' Daniel Hillard in this 1993 family blockbuster. After going through a divorce this father would do anything to see more of his kids, including becoming an elderly female nanny. A latex mask, a wig and a charming Scottish accent and it’s so convincing that no one in the family suspects a thing. The film itself went on to win the Oscar for Best Makeup.
Henry Jones – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
It’s always awesome when a legendary actor steps in to play your favourite character's father. In the case of Guardians it's action veteran Kurt Russell; in the case of The Last Crusade it's James Bond himself, Sean Connery, as Henry Jones senior, Indy's dad.
In fact, the spectre of 007 looms large over the Indiana Jones franchise: George Lucas and Steven Spielberg devised the archaeologist/adventurer after Spielberg confessed he would have loved to have a go at directing a Bond film. Years later when it came to casting Indiana Jones’ pops, they were able to use Bond for real.
Mufasa – The Lion King
When your father is king it can be difficult to live up to their expectations, something which little Simba has to struggle with during The Lion King's more tragic events. Mufasa (voiced by Darth Vader himself, James Earl Jones) is a mentor, teaching Simba right from wrong and what his responsibilities are.
Despite his devastating demise he continues to be a guide, pointing young Simba in the right direction. Similarly it remains to be seen how Peter Quill will live up to his mysterious father's legacy. But let’s face it, he has already saved the galaxy once so he’s more than worthy.
We couldn’t be more excited to see how Kurt Russell gets on in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 which hits Cineworld on 28th April.
If you could choose someone to play your dad in a movie, who would it be? Tweet us at @Cineworld and join the conversation.
Tom Nightingale is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.