Guardians of the Galaxy was one of the most successful movies of 2014. The tenth movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe earned a whopping $773.3 million at the global box office and garnered almost universally positive reviews from fans and critics alike.
The huge popularity of what was essentially a group of characters who were completely unknown to mainstream audiences was entirely unexpected but, as a result of them making such a positive impact, a sequel was always going to be on the cards.
That sequel is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and filming has already wrapped, which has heightened excitement for its release to pant-wetting levels. Let’s take a look at sixteen things you need to know about the upcoming Marvel Studios space epic.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s release date – as featured prominently in hastily scribbled writing on some of the movie’s promotional material – will be 5/5/17 (May the 5th 2017). That means it’s officially less than a year away and only one more Marvel Cinematic Universe movie will be released – November’s intriguing Doctor Strange – before we get to see the Guardians of the Galaxy in action again.
2. New Guardians
There is, apparently, a distinct possibility that two characters who weren’t members of the team in the first movie will be joining the Guardians of the Galaxy in the sequel. Karen Gillen’s Nebula may well opt to side with the Guardians in order to thwart her father Thanos’ plans, while Michael Rooker’s Yondu Udonta may well be becoming a Guardian too. However, the most exciting addition to the roster comes in the form of a new character.
French actress Pom Klementieff will portray Mantis. In the comic books, Mantis is a half-Vietnamese, half-German character who was raised by a sect of the Kree on Earth. She is a master martial artist with telepathic powers and she will be a very interesting new member of the Guardians of the Galaxy cast and team.
3. The returning cast
The best thing about the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie was its brilliant and likeable cast. Heck, even Rocket – who could easily have been the MCU’s Jar Jar Binks – was extremely endearing. With that in mind, it’s fantastic news that the vast majority of the original cast are returning for the sequel.
Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, Zoe Saldana’s Gamora, Dave Bautista’s Drax, Bradley Cooper’s Rocket, Vin Diesel’s Groot, Michael Rooker’s Yondu, Karen Gillen’s Nebula, Glenn Close’s Irani Rael and Sean Gunn’s Kraglin will all be reprising their roles – and that’s great news.
4. Those not returning
Of the main cast from the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, only Josh Brolin’s Thanos, Benicio del Toro’s Collector and John C. Reilly’s Nova corpsman Rhomann Dey will not be reprising their roles in the sequel (as well as those characters who died, obviously, like Ronan, Korath, Denarian Garthan Saal and the Other etc).
Thanos will be busy preparing for his assault on the universe in the Avengers: Infinity War movies, the Collector will reappear in Thor: Ragnarok in which, alongside his “brother” the Grandmaster, he will be a host/organiser of the gladiatorial event that will pit Thor against Hulk, and Rhomann Dey… well, we don’t know what’s happened to him (yet).
5. Baby Groot
You will obviously recall that, towards the end of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, Groot appeared to perish saving the rest of the team. Then, just before the end credits rolled, he was seen regrowing (and dancing) in a plant pot, thanks to Rocket having taken a sapling cut from his remains.
Promotional material for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 shows a tiny version of the character standing on Drax’s left shoulder, which would suggest that the character hasn’t fully regrown in time for the team’s next adventure. Whether or not he’ll be full size by the time the movie ends remains unknown, but it will certainly be a whole lot of fun seeing mini-Groot running around for a while.
6. James Gunn
The brilliant James Gunn is back on board to direct the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, having helmed the first movie with undeniable success. This is great to know, as Gunn is quite obviously very passionate about the Guardians and often speaks about his work on the movies to the press, to the fans and on social media.
Gunn’s other work includes writing the scripts for the first two live action Scooby-Doo movies and the 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake, directing and writing the likes of Slither and Super and, bizarrely, playing an “Insane Masturbator” in a television short called “Sgt. Kabukiman Public Service Announcement”.
7. The story and credits scenes will all be Gunn’s
A lot of comic book movie material is lifted straight from the pages of the comic books they’re based on, but James Gunn seems to like making them completely his own. When asked on Facebook about the movie’s story and how much Marvel Studios tell him what kind of movie to make, Gunn responded by saying that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be very much his own work.
The story and end credit scenes are all mine. Marvel okays everything of course but the ideas are from me. I’ve never been given some plot point I have to fit into the movie.
8. It’s a family affair
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will focus very much on family as a theme, with Peter Quill’s father – whomever he may turn out to be in the MCU – being a major plot point in the movie (although exactly what his role will be remains to be seen). Moreover, Karen Gillen’s Nebula is expected to have a much more “sisterly” relationship with Zoe Saldana’s Gamora in this movie, in spite of the fact that they ended the first movie on far from friendly terms.
9. It will be bigger, yet more intimate
Following a screening of the first film at the Atlanta Film Festival, a question and answer session was held with Gunn, who described how Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be a much grander spectacle than its predecessor, whilst also being much more intimate in terms of the portrayal of its characters.
It’s a much bigger film. Also at the same time, a much more intimate film, more character-driven in certain ways, so it’s just a lot of work. And everybody has been on their game.
It has been revealed that one of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s lead antagonists will be the character from the comic books known as “Her.” Also going by the names Kismet, Paragon, Ayesha and a variety of other titles, she is essentially the female version of Adam Warlock, created by the scientist group known as the Enclave to be the perfect female physical specimen.
In the comic books, her intention always seems to be to find a powerful mate to breed with, so that her children will be as perfect as her. Her aggressive pursuit of such a mate often sees her getting into conflicts – and that will be an interesting route for the movie to take with her.
11. Some scenes will be on Earth
Although we don’t have any idea of the context of the scenes in question, some photos and footage from the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 revealed that some scenes from the movie will definitely be set on Earth. The scenes in question saw some action taking place near an Earth-based cinema, with a series of movie posters outside depicting an actor (played by Nathan Fillion, who also cameoed in the first movie) in various movie roles (including as Tony Stark in a biopic, confirming that the scenes are taking place on present-day Earth).
That being said, don’t get too excited about this potentially linking the Guardians of the Galaxy to the Avengers – James Gunn has confirmed that there will be no prominent human characters in the movie (the half-human Star-Lord aside, that is).
12. A new mixtape
One of the most memorable and distinctive things about the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie was undoubtedly its soundtrack, which was actually the same collection of songs on the Walkman used by Chris Pratt’s character Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord. With classics like Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” and 10cc’s “I’m Not in Love”, the soundtrack – know as Awesome Mix Vol. 1″ – was great.
At the end of the movie, Quill opened up a gift from his mother that he had kept wrapped since her death – and it turned out to be “Awesome Mix Vol. 2”. We simply can’t wait to see which melodic delights the new soundtrack will contain and how they’ll be utilised in the new movie.
13. It won’t impact the Infinity War movies
Although the first Avengers: Infinity War movie comes just one year after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and will obviously have the whole cosmic thing in common with it, James Gunn has confirmed in a Facebook question and answer session that his movie won’t impact that Infinity War movies at all.
I’m a lot more concerned with Vol. 2 than I am with Infinity Wars. The way the movie is structured and made – it really is a story unto itself. It’s not about leading up to anything else. It’s about the Guardians and their lives.
That also means there won’t be an Infinity Stone in play. Gunn stated that fact via Facebook again
We’re not really so much about the Infinity Stones in Guardians 2. Is that a spoiler? It’s not really a thing.
14. Despite rumours, Thor is not in the movie
Given that Thor headed off into the cosmos after Avengers: Age of Ultron and, in particular, after director James Gunn posted pictures of himself on set with Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, rumours of the Asgardian appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 began to circulate. However, Gunn took to Facebook to address the issue.
No, Thor isn’t in Vol. 2. The props guy just happened to have it around and I decided to take a pic with it. Not sure if I’m able to lift it because I’m worthy or because I’m soulless like an elevator.
That clears that up!
15. Sylvester Stallone might have a role
Although it hasn’t been confirmed by anyone – not Marvel Studios, not James Gunn, not by the actor in question himself – it is strongly believed that none other than Rocky himself, Sylvester Stallone, will have a role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It’s a rumour that first came to be when “Sly” was seen reading a script whilst leaving a hotel that was frequented by the movie’s cast – and one that was later strengthened by his presence on the movie’s set.
Rumours of who he might be playing have included everything from a minor member of the Ravagers to Ego the Living Planet. Regardless of his potential role, it’s an exciting prospect that he might be on board (even though he was awful in his last comic book movie role, Judge Dredd).
16. Kurt God damn Russell!
One legendary actor who is absolutely confirmed to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the star of movies like Escape from New York, The Thing and Big Trouble in Little China, Kurt Russell. All that is known at this stage is that he is playing Peter Quill’s father – but nobody knows for certain which character that will be in the MCU yet. Rumours include the likes of Starfox, Starhawk and Adam Warlock, but what is known is that Yondu described him as a “jackass” and James Gunn described Russell’s performance as “incredible” – and we can’t wait to see it!
Are you excited about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? Let us know with a comment!