Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2′: What’s Coming Next?

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is still a ways away, but moviegoers are gradually starting to learn more about what they can expect from the upcoming sequel. From the introduction of several important, brand new characters to the recurring themes we can expect to see in the storyline, here’s everything we know about the highly anticipated follow-up flick so far.

1. The whole gang is back

GotG 2 concept art

Concept art for Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 | Source: Marvel via James Gunn’s Facebook page

All of the core cast members from the original Guardians of the Galaxy will return for the sequel, as Gunn confirmed on his Facebook page earlier this year. In addition to Chris Pratt returning as Peter Quill/ Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana will be back as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as Groot, and Bradley Cooper as Rocket.

On the supporting cast side, Michael Rooker will reprise his role as Yondu Udonta and Sean Gunn will be back as Yondu’s first mate, Kraglin. Meanwhile, Karen Gillan’s Nebula is officially back for the sequel as well and will be even more of an “important character,” according to Gunn.

In a recent Q&A session of Facebook, writer/director James Gunn has revealed that Benicio del Toro and  John C. Reilly will not return as The Collector and Corpsman Dey, respectively.

The movie’s concept art by Andy Park that was shared by director James Gunn on his Facebook page can be seen above. Note the appearance of new character Mantis (behind Star Lord’s left).

2. Several newcomers will show up

As previously announced, newbie Pom Klementieff has been cast to play what’s being described as “a key role” in the upcoming sequel. After a few weeks of speculation, Gunn has confirmed on Twitter that Klementieff will play Mantis.

First introduced in 1973 and created by Steve Englehart and Don Heck, Mantis is the half-Vietnamese, half-German daughter of the antihero Libra and a martial arts expert with psychic abilities. Per Deadline, the character has been an “uneasy member” of the Guardians since 2007 and has played a key role in recent comic storylines involving the team. The character is also tied closely to Thanos (who is played by Josh Brolin in the MCU).

The speculation does keep in line with Gunn’s previous teases about adding at least one new Guardian to the team and bulking up on more female characters for the sequel.That being said, fans can likely expect Klementieff to be one of the few new characters to join the film. Gunn has made a point of saying he doesn’t want to add too many names to the roster, instead choosing to focus on expanding the background of the characters already know. “I want all of our characters to get MORE personal time than they did in the 1st film,” the director wrote during a Twitter Q&A in June.

Elizabeth Debicki and Chris Sullivan have also been officially added to the cast. Per JoBlo, Elizabeth Debicki will portray Ayesha (who goes by many aliases, as detailed by Marvel) a character who was created by a group of scientists to be “genetically perfect.”

Meanwhile, Scottish actor Tommy Flanagan has reportedly been cast as one of the Ravagers in the upcoming sequel, specifically the “right-hand man” of Yondu Udonta.

According to new reports, Nathan Fillion will play Simon Williams, a.k.a. Wonder Man, in the upcoming sequel. In the comics, Williams is a superhero with a fear of death who ultimately gives up being a hero to pursue an acting career in Hollywood. Photos recently surfaced online showing Fillion’s face on mock movie posters in a theater in Cartersville, Ga, reportedly hosting a Simon Williams movie festival.

3. There will be multiple bad guys

As expected, the Guardians will once again have to deal with the Ravagers. Gunn released a photo of the rag tag group last summer, as seen above. Among the faces in the photo are Sean Gunn’s Kraglin (at the bottom center) and Taserface in the center, played by Chris Sullivan. Though the Ravagers are still technically led by Yondu, Taserface will reportedly lead a group of mutineers against him throughout the movie.

New concept art provided to Empire Magazine has provided more insight into the villains that the Guardians will be battling. As seen in the photo seen below, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Baby Groot, Star-Lord and Drax are fending off a giant monster that looks like a cross between an octopus and a dragon. Though the name for the creature hasn’t been revealed, fans have already pointed out that it’s the same one that appeared in some of the footage released at San Diego Comic-Con.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Marvel via Empire Magazine

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Marvel via Empire Magazine

4. The movie will have a “more emotional” focus

Source: Marvel

Guardians of the Galaxy | Marvel

This past June, Gunn spoke out on one of the main differences between the original Guardians and the upcoming sequel, revealing that moviegoers can expect Vol. 2 to be a more sentimental flick than the first. “I think it’s a more emotional movie,” he explained to Collider. “It’s both a bigger movie and a smaller movie because we focus more intensely on some of the characters.”

He reiterated the same idea in another interview, stating, “It’s a very moving script. Listen, one of the main things with Guardians of the Galaxy is not to add a bunch of characters, not to make it bigger in that way but to go deeper with the characters. And yeah, there’s going to be the big things we’ve come to expect from those big battles and action sequences and things like that, big colorful locations and beautiful set pieces, and wonderful designs by visual effects artists and all of us, but what really matters to me is going deeper into the characters and getting to know them more emotionally.”

5. We’ll learn more about Star-Lord’s dad

Chris Pratt - Star Lord, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy | Marvel

One of the biggest cliffhangers of the original Guardians was the unknown identity of Peter Quill’s almost-mythological dad. As expected, audiences will learn more about him in the upcoming sequel. “We get to learn a lot more about fathers in the second movie, [So] we focus a lot on that,” Gunn told Collider in June.

One thing we do know about Quill’s dad? As the director confirmed back in 2014, the movie will deviate from the comic mythology when it comes to his identity. “It’s definitely not the character who it is in the comics,” Gunn said at the time. Learning about Quill’s history and his father is part of what will make the upcoming film so emotional – even for the movie’s stars. Chris Pratt told Digital Spy that reading the script for the sequel “brought tears to his eyes”.

Director James Gunn confirmed that Kurt Russell has joined the cast in the role of playing Star-Lord’s father, who also happens to be Ego the Living Planet.

Pratt recently elaborated on the relationship between the two characters in the upcoming movie saying, “You’re going to see these characters having to endure the realities of being in a family. You’re talking about a guy who’s been longing to know who his father is for a long time. He’ll discover if that person lives up to the expectations he has in his head.”

Russell has opened up further about the film’s family focus, telling Collider:

It’s a very complex story, and they really get into it. This is going to be one of the more—probably for Marvel, it’s more connected to human issues, family issues, parental issues, and issues that sons and daughters have with their moms and dads and their family tree, where they come from. I just think it’s going to be an interesting— Peter’s character in this one, he’s got dilemmas and he’s got decisions to make that are not just about whether to save that thing or that person. This is about finding out who you are, where you come from, and where you’re going.

6. The Avengers and Captain Marvel won’t be involved

Source: Marvel

Guardians of the Galaxy | Marvel

Given Marvel’s penchant for crossovers, there’s been some talk that certain members of the Avengers will appear in the upcoming Guardians sequel. But as Gunn has confirmed several times, that is not the case. As previously stated, the director wants to keep the movie’s focus on expanding the original characters’ background stories, not cramming in new cast members.

Speaking of crossing over with other Marvel characters, there’s also been speculation that the new Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel will be introduced in Guardians Vol. 2 before headlining her own solo film in 2018. But Gunn has also confirmed that’s not happening for specific storyline reasons. As he explained on Twitter, “For the time being, it’s important to me that Quill is the sole human (earthling) character.”

7. Expect another awesome soundtrack

Source: Hollywood Records

Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack | Hollywood Records

Guardians of the Galaxy‘s oldies-filled soundtrack, Awesome Mix Vol. 1, reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart after the movie’s debut, and it looks like fans can expect another fun soundtrack for the upcoming sequel. During a recent live Facebook session, Gunn revealed that he has actually already picked out all the songs for the Vol. 2 mixtape — including one particular track that he wasn’t able to work into the first movie’s soundtrack.

9. There will be more fun chemistry between characters

 

Rehearsals for #GotGVol2. @bautista shows @zoesaldana, @prattprattpratt & @seangunn what real acting looks like. pic.twitter.com/XoA0TePeK5

— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 1, 2016

Although Marvel movies tend to be big-budget, special effects driven affairs, the humor and chemistry between the characters is what really made Guardians of the Galaxy such a hit with audiences. Photos tweeted by writer/director James Gunn (see above) reveal that audiences can expect the same tone from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, as cast is clearly enjoying themselves on set.

10. You’ll want to stay for the post-credits scene

Marvel movies have become known for their post-credits scenes and it looks like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will continue that tradition. Gunn recently took to Twitter to confirm that not only will there be at least one post-credits scene in the movie, but also that it’ll be one that fans will want to stick around for.

“All I’ll say is, unless you have to rush out because your mother is dying, stay through the entire end credits,” Gunn tweeted in response to a fan inquiry on the matter.

As the movie begins to air early screenings, it’s been revealed that there is actually not just one, but five post-credit scenes in the sequel. According to ScreenRant, four are mid-credits bonus scenes, which are mostly just for fun, although audiences may want to keep an eye out for a few key details. There’s also another scene after the credits, as expected, which sets up important plot points for the future.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is scheduled to hit theaters on May 5, 2017.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 poster

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 poster | Marvel via James Gunn’s Facebook page

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